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  • Writer's pictureGwendolyn Houston Jack

This New Normal

January 22, 2020. I was getting dressed for a 40th birthday party in Toronto, Canada. The World Health Organization was trying to decide if the coronavirus had reached an epidemic level. I was asked multiple times while in customs if I had traveled to China or been in contact with anyone who had recently traveled to China.

April 6, 2020. If I have to run any errands, I pack a pair of gloves and a mask (maybe). I carry my own shopping basket (not a new habit), but I spray down every handle in the house about three times a day. We're in our third week of sheltering in place (I think; honestly have lost track of time). I'm content with not driving (it's Texas), but I miss the common human interactions. The whole thing feels like something written straight from the movies. It's not a movie though. It is very much real life.

I don't watch much news. I don't think it's good for anyone's mental health, but I do read a number of articles. I also have never been huge on social media (everything in moderation), but I can see some of us are struggling with this "new normal". Many of us have the luxury (yeah, I said it) to work from home. We're trying to figure out how to make it through the day. I've included just a few ways to keep the sanity in your life and home while we sail these unchartered waters.

I've always been a journal-keeping kind of gal, so write down your thoughts. It's great to clear the mind and not keep those sometimes negative thoughts in our calm space. And meditation works. Now is the time to focus on you and your loved ones. We actually have time to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate our spirits.

I'm also a huge fan of family gatherings (hello person who takes pictures). I also still make phone calls on my phone (not video calls...just a good ole fashioned phone call). Here's the deal: we're here on borrowed time. Don't let today or this moment pass you by.

When all of this is done, I pray we're all better for it. Let's not forget these steps to remaining calm or the appreciation for the human connection.

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