Before I get into this video and the upcoming video series, I wanted to pause and say thank you. Amy and I are staying home, doing our best with social distancing—and if you’re doing the same, thank you.
If you’re working in the world to continue providing groceries, medical care, transportation, cleaning, and other essential services that keep our lives running—thank you for risking your own well-being to do so. Thank you.
Right now, we’re facing an unprecedented time all over the world.
We’re having to make changes to our lives that we didn’t expect and that we didn’t plan for, and there’s a lot of uncertainty that comes along with that. There can be a lot of anxiety that can come along with that uncertainty. Especially when you rely on habits and certain aspects of your life to keep things together; the things that maintain some sense of normalcy and productivity or quiet a part of the anxiety that we may feel right now.
This is definitely a time when I find myself “twitching” more—constantly looking for new information.
It’s a part of the human condition, one of the ways we deal with uncertainty. For better and worse, there’s unlimited information out there, and a whole lot of misinformation. At a certain point, new information is no longer beneficial and just contributes to the overwhelm.
If you’ve been struggling with recent changes and with maintaining certain habits, know that it’s completely normal. We tend to associate the identity we have with the habits and things we do. The small things we do every single day become a part of who we are. Losing some things we do each day—our identities—is scary, and there’s still so much we’re not sure of.
From my standpoint, there are two different ways on how to move forward.
On one hand, you can double down on your habits to keep sane. Doing so provides a sense of normalcy during this challenging period of time. This can be really helpful for some people.
On the other hand, you can take it a lot easier. Because this is different from anything we’ve ever experienced in our lifetimes. Many of us are suddenly working from home, homeschooling kids, and managing a household all at the same time. Many people are being furloughed and losing their jobs—with no certainty of what will happen next.
So this is also a time to be kind to ourselves. To be forgiving. To not beat ourselves for slipping on habits or not being on top of everything.
At the same time, the balance between the two approaches is where I’ve been trying to live.
What we’re all going through right now is a new transition, a forced one, unfortunately, but a transition nonetheless. We need to lower the bar of what we expect from ourselves—much like when you move to a different city, start a new job, or experience some other life-changing event. These things always take time to adjust to.
But integrating some small habits that help keep us on the rails can also be beneficial. These things may not look the same or be as consistent as they were before, but you can push yourself a little to do the best you can. Exercising, simply sitting and breathing, setting aside some analog time—whatever small practices bring us and our minds back into the present.
There’s not going to be one right solution, but balancing the two approaches is what’s worked best for me in adjusting and slowly reaching a new normal.
Over the next several days, I’ll be sharing a series called, This Can Help.
Each post and video will feature one small action we can do during this time to keep ourselves more grounded, positive, and build up to a new normal. The name of the series is inspired by my friend, Patrick Rhone, who wrote a book called This Could Help.
For each one, I’ll provide a short explanation of the tiny habit, the why behind it, and how I’ve been using it. I hope these habit ideas help to balance the two approaches I mentioned earlier—to be forgiving of ourselves but also to step into the small ways we can cope and grow during this time of uncertainty.
I truly believe if we can dig into the empathy we have for one another, we can do our part to raise the tide for all boats. That we can become stronger as people through this and become more caring towards each other. I look forward to bringing you this series and thank you for doing your part in building a new normal for us all.
All the posts within the series will be linked below in this article as they’re published.
A Habit Series from Break the Twitch: This Can Help