The new normal. Three words that have become a household phrase when put together. Amid everything going on in life, we are now at a point where we must learn to adapt to what life is like outside of our comfort zone that we have made over the past year. How do we do this? Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer, which can be scary and uncomfortable.
Pressure to Be Social
At this point, I am sure everyone is feeling the pressure to leave the home, attend gatherings, and live life like we did in 2019, especially with the availability of vaccines. However, it is not all that easy when you have been accustomed to living a life of solitude for the past year.
How To Say No
One thing that I have been asked in my personal life and professional life is “How do you say ‘no’ now?”
I am a social butterfly--you can ask anyone that knows me--if there is a gathering or something going on, I want to be there and enjoy it! But over the past year, I have had to learn to adapt, and saying “no” has not been easy!
Although it can be hard, saying “No” is something that everyone will need to do themselves and need to accept hearing from others. If you find yourself uncomfortable with gathering with others, do not be afraid to say so. Something I tell all my patients is that they are the most important thing that they have in life. Your mental health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance and if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy with attending social gatherings, do not allow yourself to give in. Simply saying, “Thank you for the offer but, I am unable to attend,” is a plain and perfect answer to give when feeling the need to decline social gatherings.
If you are on the receiving end of hearing “Thank you for the offer but, I am unable to attend,” remember to not take it personal. Everyone is at a different place when it comes to reentering social settings. Some are comfortable, some are in-between, and some still want to protect themselves and their loved ones; and all of these positions are perfectly fine.
Respect Your Decisions and Others
The one piece of advice that I can give to anyone reading this is: Be mindful of others and respect yourself and your decisions.
We all are navigating the “new normal” together. No one is right and no one is wrong when choosing what is best for themselves and their loved ones.
Visit chihealth.com/behavioral to connect with a CHI Health mental health provider. We offer in-person and virtual therapy sessions with our team of licensed mental health therapists.