Whilst I have been affected by the rapid onset of change that has been thrust upon us all in recent weeks, I have also been observing the effect it has been having on us all.

Our worlds have been changed into something unrecognisable to what they were this time last month. Enforced hibernation, Isolation from loved ones, unemployment, homeschooling and loss of a sense of freedom are just some of the “new normal” that we are all trying to accept.

Over the past few days, I have been unpacking my thoughts/feelings surrounding it all and trying to make some sense of my“new normal”.

Here is what I have come to realise.

Humans tend to fear change, we see it as a threat to our happiness. When in fact change is constant and continually happening. Day turns to night, Monday leads to Tuesday, Summer leads to Autumn, etc… We live in an ever-changing world. The difference is, these changes are expected and normal to our everyday lives. This sudden life-changing event that is the current Pandemic has been thrust upon us suddenly and turned our lives upside down.

We are all experiencing this slightly differently, but each of us are experiencing it together.

I have broken it down into six stages to help us understand what is going on in our minds at this time. These are Shock, Fear, Grief, Overwhelm, Rationalisation and Acceptance.

I will discuss each stage further.


Our initial response activates the fight/flight response in our brain. This causes our executive processing to shut down. Our Amygdala has been activated and the Jumping monkey as I like to call it is ready to fight or to run. Panic sets in.


We feel like we have lost control over our lives and due to the shock we are also now ready to fight or to run. Our rational thinking is clouded due to the executive processing centre being closed down, we want to do everything we can to protect ourselves.


We don’t like this new reality and are mourning our old normality. We want to bury our heads in the sand and avoid the truth. We resist the change and feelings of depression and anxiety can set in.

It is important to reach out to loved ones during this time. Social distancing may be preventing us from seeing each other physically but we are fortunate to live in the digital age where it is easy to connect online or via the telephone.

If you are struggling and feel you have no-one to turn to please reach out to an organisation such as Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.


We start to imagine what this new normality is going to look like. Frustration rises in us, feelings of loss of control return and Overthinking leads to anxiety as we look into an unknown future. We head off down the rabbit warren of uncertainty with our imagination, creating doomsday / apocalyptic scenarios in our minds.

It is important to watch your mind chatter. I use the acronym T.H.I.N.K to keep a check of mine. This stands for True. Helpful. Inspiring. Necessary. Kind. If what you are saying to yourself does not fall under any of these headings then its probably causing you unnecessary stress and is not worth listening to.


Time to make a plan.

I look at change in 3 different perspectives. What I can control, what I can influence and What I have no control/influence over.

If we look at the changes we are currently facing through these 3 lenses it will help us to make a plan and feel like we have more control than we did when we were in Overwhelm.

Make a list of all the changes that have affected your life since the onset of this Pandemic. Then draw a grid and assign each change you are currently experiencing into a column of what you can control, what you can influence or what you can’t control. It may be an idea to do this with your partner or a friend as they may see things from a different perspective and be able to help you. Once you have identified what you can control and what you can influence you should feel like you have some clarity over your current situation. It will also feel easier to let go of the need to control or change what we have no influence over.

Which leads to;


Once we accept these changes we have the capacity to show ourselves more compassion, find realistic solutions and allow ourselves to mindfully make a plan.

Mindfulness is an amazing tool that keeps you present and helps you to navigate change. If you are new to mindfulness and meditation I recommend the Headspace or Calm apps as great ways to get started.

It feels to me like we have been stripped right back to basics and I know for sure that it has made me even more grateful for the simple things in life. A gratitude journal is a great way to help you to focus on the good things that are happening through all this. It will be interesting to reflect on in years to come too.

It’s very important to maintain the connection to others during this time of what I am calling physical distancing. We are hard-wired for connection, isolation is an unnatural state for us. We can still be social, just via an online connection. Make yourself a cuppa or pour a glass of wine and jump online for a chat with your friends and family. I have seen some very creative ideas around this on my social media which look like great fun.

Lastly, know that this storm will pass and we will have all gotten through it together.

If you are struggling and feel you have no-one to turn to please reach out to an organisation such as Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.

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