Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We are all struggling with the changes that have suddenly entered our lives due to the coronavirus. We don’t leave the house without a mask. We make sure to stand 6 feet away from others. Schools are remote or cancelled. We can’t visit the elderly. People keep saying that we are living in the “new normal.” And it’s true. Though before you know it that new normal will change to be another new normal. What will that look like? No one can predict.

The only thing we can be sure of as a constant is change. Change is hard and we are often resistant. So how can we adapt to change in a healthy way? Below, I’ve compiled my favorite tips:

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Look for anchors. Maybe you have a dog that you must walk every morning or maybe you have a daily 7pm phone call with a sibling. When everything is changing around you, it can be helpful to find those things that do not change – and use them as anchors to create a sense of calm in your day.

Get active. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to exercise classes or go for a run outdoors. Being active can mean that you go for a walk around the block or do an at home workout with household items. Getting your blood flowing allows your brain and body to deal with change in a more productive and less stressful way.

Give yourself a break. These are tough times. We need to acknowledge that. Allowing yourself to function at less than 100% sometimes is a needed rest from outside stress and pressure. The last thing you need to do while the world is changing around you is beat yourself up about it. 

We can’t change change – it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. We can, however, find a few ways to make the burden of change a bit lighter.

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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.