Skills for Re-Entry, Part I

Re-entering a world that’s far from “normal”

What a difference a year makes.

Here in Michigan, it was announced yesterday that remote working is no longer required, and those who are fully vaccinated can work without masks or social distancing requirements.

Even before that, many were struggling with the thought of returning to the workplace, feeling their employers aren’t honoring employees’ safety and well-being by “returning to normal” at such a pace.

But what we’ve all gone through in the last year was not normal.

What we’re slowly (or not so slowly) re-entering is not normal.

Even the way of life we had before the pandemic was not all that normal. Consider the fast pace; systemic inequities; expectations to be “always on,” keep a full schedule, and attend to everyone else before yourself.  I’m sure there’s more you could add to that list.

Building Another New Normal

While we aren’t out of the pandemic yet, we’re seeing the lifting of restrictions and the feeling of possibility brought on by beautiful weather and vaccination.

Before rushing back to “normal” again, have you had the chance to pause?

My wish for each person reading this is that you’ve had an opportunity to know yourself and your connection to others more deeply because of the events of the last year. Or if you haven’t had an opportunity for self-reflection, that you might give yourself that gift now.

If “normal” wasn’t working for you before, allow yourself to examine why. Consider what you really want in this “one wild and precious life” (as Mary Oliver called it).

And in case you’re struggling, I’d like to share a reminder that comforted me when I saw it last week:

"Be kind to yourself today. Your nervous system was designed for an ancient world that doesn't exist anymore." 
“Be kind to yourself today. Your nervous system was designed for an ancient world that doesn’t exist anymore.”

This experience is new for ALL of us—and we’re all in this together!

You can choose to live differently.

GRCFM has been teaching mindfulness and self-compassion classes for over 10 years now, and it seems like we’re always saying these skills are “more important now than ever.” I expect we’ll keep saying it until they become more accepted and “normal” in our communities.

We invite you to join us for May’s online Free Introductory Classes to see how these skills can support you in navigating the road back to an in-person life.

Click here to read Part II: Moving forward with awareness and kindness

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