Everyone keeps talking about the concept of a "new normal". Since COVID-19 hit in mid-March of 2020, there has been so much fear and misinformation. We've all become so much more aware of germs and spend more time than we ever imagined bleaching countertops, disinfecting packages, working from home and keeping ourselves away from those we love.
For most people, the new normal was truly isolating. Things that we took for granted, even simple things like handshakes and hugs, become dangerous. I have a lot of interests and hobbies to keep me busy but the lack of human face-to-face interaction still created a sense of loneliness. It has since become more natural to spend time alone, but I long for the days when we can get once again get together in groups to celebrate our accomplishments and victories.
I've made a list of some of some of the things I've found helpful during this time to try to stay connected. I hope they might be helpful to you too!
- Take a notepad or drawing pad with me when I go for a walk, to the beach or a river or my backyard.
- Set up an art video lessons with friends and family using video chat. Sharing my love of art with others I love helps me feel more empowered to do something, anything to connect.
- Listen to art podcasts to learn about other art processes and key learnings.
- Take an online art class. I did this recently and awakened a whole new way of creating art combining my love of collage with more mixed media elements of acrylic and pastel, both mediums I was afraid to try in the past.
- Call an old friend I haven't talked to in a while to check in.
- Start a grateful journal and list at least three things I'm grateful for each day. I give myself bonus points when I take the time to illustrate the contributions.
- Donate time to help a shelter, foster children, the homeless, animals or your favorite cause. There are so many ways to give back and so many in need of help right now. Such a beautiful way to demonstrate love through action.
- Find time for deep contemplation and meditation. I've found the practice of yoga to be really helpful during these abnormal times. It clears my head and helps me process and prioritize.
My daughter lives in Perth, Australia where they have been free of COVID-19 for some time. It warms my heart and gives me hope to see her starting to return to the things she loved pre-COVID. Going to live events, attending office parties and being in communion with others. My hope is that the rest of the world will soon be able to look back and reflect on this difficult time in our history and appreciate the little things that matter most just a little bit more.