Talk of the ‘new normal’ has become quite popular nowadays. This stems from the measures that have been taken in order to control COVID-19. Aside from having to accept the fact that we are facing a global pandemic and bearing all the consequences that that is bringing with it, we are also in the process of adapting to this different lifestyle. Whereas before we took certain health measures for granted, now we have to make an effort to think about our regular health practices in order to ensure our own safety and that of others.
What is ‘adjustment’ and what are we going through?
The term ‘adjustment’ refers to adapting to a new situation and this implies a transition from a situation to one that has been changed (“Adjust,” n.d.). We know that many people fear change because it brings about unexpected consequences that we might not be comfortable with at first because we are not used to them. This is exactly what the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about. It has come about so unexpectedly and spread around the globe so quickly, that people did not have time to prepare themselves for the transition and are suddenly facing demands put upon themselves and other people in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. The issue becomes more complicated since it is health-related because it poses the risk of death which so many people fear.
Moreover, we also need to keep in mind that there is not just one transition that we had to cope with. There are multiple! Firstly, we had to adjust to the drastic measures taken when the pandemic first started, and then we had to adjust to slowly shedding our fears and cautiousness in order to get on with life again when cases decreased and measures were lifted, and now we are facing yet another wave of COVID-19 cases and we have to adjust once again! Secondly, each transition brings with it multiple changes in our lives in multiple aspects – we have to adapt socially, financially, and personally, with each of these being broken down further into different branches of our life, such as education, leisure, family, values, and the like.
It is important that we break down what we are experiencing in order to be able to accept it. It also helps people relate to each other. However, there are other things one can do to adjust to all these changes, rather than just dwelling on what is happening around the world. These shall be underlined in Part 2 of this blog.
Luanne Grima is a psychology graduate who works as a childminder and Volunteer with Willingness. She also forms part of Betapsi.