Defining a new normal after challenging times

Life has been significantly altered for many weeks in various ways for most of us by this COVID-19 pandemic.  Sadly, this pandemic has brought devastation, stress and heartache across the world. It is also bringing great opportunity for each of us to define a “new normal”.

I would like you to consider making a list of any area of YOUR life where you have felt a sense of RELIEF during this time.  (if you are reading this during another season of challenge, you can apply this too)

BE COMPLETELY HONEST WITH YOURSELF! ⠀No guilt. No judgement. Let yourself process.

Maybe you feel some level of RELIEF from some of the following:  ⠀

Spending less money eating out
Distance from toxic people
Time to work on some relationships
More time to catch up on reading or house projects
Less time driving your family around or for business
More time to exercise
Maybe something significant like losing a job you didn’t really love
What else?


Businesses and activities are starting to open up in many places. A new normal is starting to unfold.  As you come out of any challenging season, you DO NOT have to return to the exact same way of being in any area of your life!

You get to choose! ⠀

I really encourage you to sit with this for a few moments. Make some notes or journal about where you have felt some RELIEF the past several weeks.  What emotions come up when you think about returning to “normal”? ⠀

We have an amazing opportunity have right now to decide what we want in many areas of our life. and make the intentional shifts in our thinking and actions to create more of the life experience we truly desire. ⠀

In the spirit of moving forward with great intentions, despite our circumstances, I challenge you to acknowledge the feelings of RELIEF and honor them with new choices. ⠀

Not every feeling of relief is prompting a long term change. Sometimes we just enjoy a break. 

So how do you know if the feeling of relief is prompting some change in your life?

How will you handle each of the promptings?


You can apply this process to any season of life where you are feeling challenged or overwhelmed.

If you are ready to clarify the new normal you desire for your life, here are some steps

  1. Make a list of all things that have changed this challenging time. Identify which of the changes have actually brought you some relief in some way.
  2. Try on the emotions for each the things that have changed: sadness, excitement, fear, anger, joy, disgust, relief, overwhelm. You will likely identify a few.
  3. Identify inhibitory emotions coming up for you like shame, anxiety, guilt that keep you from taking action to make some long term changes you desire.
  4. Get specific about what is coming up for you that would keep you from making long term changes in the area where you feel some relief.
  5. Identify your defenses that you might do to avoid feeling the emotions required to make the changes. (joking, sarcasm, too much "screen time," criticizing, spacing out, procrastination, preoccupation, negative thinking, misguided aggression, working too much, over-exercising, over-eating, under-eating, cutting, sex, obsession, addiction, etc.)
  6. Give yourself permission to have compassion and curiosity versus fear and judgment or any other defense around what pursuing a new normal might look like.
  7. Decide whether you are ready or not to pursue the changes for a new normal that the RELIEF brought up for you.
  8. Start the pursuit!

I hope this process supports you to take unexpected relief during challenging times and define YOUR new normal. 

On #tuesdaywithtammy I chatted more about how this process works. Check out the video if you want more insights. 

You get to define YOUR new normal!

You are worth it.   


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published