The uncomfortable normal

Published on:
June 18, 2020

I’ve been thinking lately about the paradox of being at home but uncomfortable. I know that I'm better off than many and have much to be grateful for, but I can’t help thinking about this constant state of unsettledness. It’s as if being uncomfortable and anxious is part of the new normal. Yeah, sure, we’ve created work spaces in our homes and apartments, installed Zoom and developed new work-life routines. Many of us are still trying to find the right balance as traditional boundaries have disappeared. Add to that the public health concerns which are going to be with us for some time. Overlay that with a long overdue, national self-examination and discussion about race.

At times, we are angry, afraid, saddened, confused or lonely. Is there any wonder we occasionally feel out of sorts? How can we grapple with these extraordinary issues while remaining good spouses, parents, colleagues and friends? We all bring our own set of experiences, opinions and concerns to the table. Each one of us will take the path that’s right for them. And we’ll take it one step at a time, one day at a time. So after you disconnect from another Hollywood Squares Zoom call, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ve got this.

A couple other thoughts to help manage.

Be mindful of how much work you have on your plate.  Work tends to take up more and more of our time. Don’t let it. That’s the surest path to burning out. Budget time for breaks and try to be disciplined outside of normal work hours. If you can't say no, clarify priorities and set realistic expectations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you can delegate, do so. It’s a sign of confidence in yourself and your co-workers.  

It may sound trite, but doing something nice for some else, making someone happy, benefits both of you. Being social creatures, we feel better about ourselves when we make others feel better. Start small and make a habit of it. Donate to your neighborhood charity. Drop off dry goods or clothes at the local shelter. Pick up groceries for an at-risk neighbor or walk their dog. Every positive act brings a little more light into a dark world.

You can find more tips for making the most of your time at home here.  If you have any you'd like to share, reply to this email in your own time and we’ll post them!

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