Embracing the New Normal

People are going back to work, kids are going back to school, and more and more businesses are opening up. But, at least for the time being, it looks like the coronavirus is here to stay, so we are going to have to make adjustments to our lives and embrace the new normal. Whether you are running out the door or cautiously putting a toe out, it’s important to remember that life in the time of Covid-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no one way to move forward, but if you need help getting started, we’ve rounded up some of the best advice from our past PEN-Powered Activity Guides to get you started.

Stay Connected

Social distancing, or as we like to call it, physical distancing does not have to mean loneliness. Depending on your comfort level and/or the restrictions in your area, you can stay connected in a variety of ways. Some states have relaxed their stay-at-home orders, and you can now resume many normal face-to-face activities including dining out or returning to places of worship. If you live in one of those areas and want to take advantage of in-person meet-ups, make sure you continue to follow the health and safety guidelines by:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Frequently washing your hands
  • Avoid touching your face.

If you aren’t quite ready for face-to-face interaction, there are many ways to connect such as participating in online communities, using Facetime or Zoom to get together with friends, or joining a group such as a virtual book club. Find other ideas to stay connected in PEN-Powered Activity Guide (PPAG) II, page 1.

Utilize Technology

If the 2020 quarantine taught us anything it is that technology is one of our greatest modern-day assets. Thanks to technology we were able to continue to see doctors and therapists, see the world (PPAG II, page 27), keep up with our workouts (PPAG IV, page 34), and manage our accounts all without leaving our homes. As we move forward, the ways we used technology during quarantine are influencing our new normal, especially when it comes to our health. One of the best ways for patients to take charge of their health is to keep track of all aspects of it. 

Managing prescriptions (PPAG II, Page 4), paying bills, scheduling appointments, and keeping up with test results can all be done online, and now many of the time-consuming appointments of the past can be done through telemedicine saving both patients and doctors valuable time. Learn about telemedicine in detail from PPAG III, pages 7-21.

Practice Self-Care

Your schedule is likely filling up again making it hard for you to take time for yourself, but it’s important to recharge. Make time for relaxation (PPAG II, page 19) and exercise. There are substantial benefits from a walk around your neighborhood (PPAG II, page26), or a few minutes of chair yoga (PPAG III, page 25). Practicing mindfulness such as meditation or yoga can also benefit your overall health (PPAG IV, page 14). You don’t have to spend a lot of time on self-care, but the time you do spend will serve you well.

Stay Safe at Home

You may be leaving your home more now, but when you are at home it should feel like a safe space, especially when the world can feel a little unstable right now. Keep your environment as peaceful as possible by decluttering and surrounding yourself with things you love. You can find some other ways to make your home a sanctuary in PPAG IV, page 18.

Follow Best Practices

By now we all have heard the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. They include washing hands, wearing masks, and keeping your distance. In addition, you can help to stay healthy by eating well to improve immunity. Getting proper nutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals are all ways to help your immunity. Learn more about eating for your immunity in PPAG IV, pages 26, 27, and 28. You can find other tips about eating well in PPAG III, pages 30 and 31.

One other thing to remember is that if you were doing something during your coronavirus quarantine that you enjoyed doing, keep doing it. New exercise program? Keep it up. Meditating to relax? Keep it up. Did you find a podcast you love? Make time to listen to it. If you need a new podcast, there’s a great list in PPAG II, pages 16 and 17. The bottom line is this: while things may look and feel different, the fundamentals remain the same. Eat Healthy, Be Active, Sleep Well, Wash Your Hands (PPAG IV, page 25).