The New Normal by Elizabeth Harasty

Climb out!

Happy whatever day of the week it is! It’s your friendly neighborhood introvert, Liz! I was asked to write a blog that shares my COVID-19 shelter-in-place experience from the viewpoint of someone who is probably enjoying this way more that a lot of you right now. I mean, November Project is filled with amazing, beautiful, outgoing, extroverted humans-that’s the whole point of the group! I love each and every one of your social butterfly spirts; I just can’t relate to them. What I can relate to, is feeling uncomfortable, out of control of a situation, and frustrated. So, I would like to share some things with you that have helped me through this unprecedented time we are experiencing. From one introvert to…. a lot of lovely extroverts 😊

Let’s start with the obvious: this is a scary time. It’s unfamiliar. It’s traumatic. It takes away control that we once had. It has slashed through our awesome plans for 2020. It is perfectly ok to feel overwhelmed and sad! Once you have acknowledged those heavy feelings and let yourself experience them, you can try to move past them and focus on the things you can control. You can control your daily routines, goals, and mindset. Trust me, this is no easy task- I’m still working on it, myself but I truly believe this has helped me keep a positive mindset. 

**Disclaimer: these suggestions are just from my personal experiences and extreme Type A personality! I have the great fortune of still having my job (working from home) and no responsibilities other than myself, so follow these ideas if they fit into your lifestyle! **

1. Routines

You don’t have to have every hour of every day planned out. Pick one or two small tasks that you can accomplish everyday around the same time. For example, I make my bed every morning when I wake up. It reinforces that my day has begun, and I will not return to my bed until nighttime. This works for me because I work downstairs and can compartmentalize those two things in my life: work time and rest time. You could read a book for fifteen minutes a day, do a home workout, or keep a steady eating schedule. 

There’s a lot to look forward to!

2. Set goals/ create a task list

I had a laundry list of things I had been meaning to get done for over a year and I didn’t make time to do them and now I have time! Create a list of things you would like to accomplish and choose one to do every week. Make it a goal to have it done by the end of the week and try to stick to it. Completing a task on your list feels good and gives you positive reinforcement to keep doing more! Marie Kondo your closet! Hang up those posters! Sweep the kitchen floor! Read a new book with your children! Go pick up trash in your neighborhood!

We’ll make it to the top together!

3. Mindset

Be kind to yourself. Give yourself space and forgiveness. Give others space and forgiveness. If you didn’t accomplish your weekly task, that’s ok! You will get to it next week. If you spent two hours scrolling Instagram because you were feeling overwhelmed about bad news, that’s ok. Your day isn’t over simply because you were feeling down and wanted to rest. Being kind to yourself may also mean avoiding social media and the news for a little bit. It’s good to be informed but taking an hour break from it can help us focus on ourselves and give us the opportunity to get out of our own heads. This really is a mind over matter situation so think to yourself, “I’m not trapped, I’m safe.”

“This won’t last forever.” 

“ I will overcome this challenge.”  

We have been given something very important: space and silence. Space to do things you did not have time for previously and silence to listen to what’s in your heart and others around you.

All of this is easier said than done, I know. But what I also know is that you all are some of the most resilient people I know. You are strong. You achieve and inspire every day. You can overcome. I know you can because I have seen you do it time and time again. We will get through this. 

Best wishes, 

Elizabeth Harasty

P.S. Don’t forget to thank the people in your life that are putting their lives on the line to keep things up and running. Please wear a face cover when you are out and social distance. We can all do our part to get back to normalcy so we can see each other at workouts again!

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