Column: Making the most of this new normal

Opening our eyes by Nan Dickie

Column: Making the most of this new normal

During this time of the pandemic, it feels like we don’t have much control.

It is true: many things are totally out of control in the world, and some things are entirely out of our personal control. However, there are many things we do have control over. We can make dozens of personal choices as we go through each day of this worrisome time.

When we are outside, we may not encounter as many people as we normally do. However, when we do pass someone outside (six feet away from us, of course), instead of keeping our heads down, concentrating on how awful life is right now, we can look that other person in the eye and smile or give a thumbs-up.

Being friendly in this way does not spread the virus.

When we are inside our homes, we may sometimes feel confined, even trapped, by the current circumstances.

Instead of bemoaning our plight, now that it is almost spring we can open a window. We can go to the closet that holds five to 30 years of photos and other memorabilia, bring the boxes out, dust them off and address the contents.

We have no excuse for procrastinating at this time – but no one says you need to tackle those projects. We can bring out that hobby we thought we might someday find time to try.

Suddenly, we are faced with many hours to fill in solitary ways. We’re not used to this, and it may be a challenge to adjust to. Now is the time to try to be creative, even if we haven’t been before.

Read more: Column: If there ever was a time…

Read more: Column: Distancing, not isolating, and handling our fears

When we are talking with a friend, instead of complaining about what we are not allowed to do these days, we can exchange strategies on how not to get bored, share inspirational stories we have heard of front-line workers, tell the other three things we are grateful for at this time.

This pandemic is not going to be history any time soon. But some of us seem to be rushing to get it over with, understandably, by focusing on six months from now, rather than living in each today, as tough as that is to do. If we live in the future, not one day at a time, we don’t pay necessary attention to keep ourselves and others safe in this moment.

A new future is ahead of us. We can dream of its possibilities. And one day, what we are going through

now will be history.

Nan Dickie is a local author, speaker and former facilitator of a Salmon Arm depression support group in Salmon Arm.

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