There’s no denying that we’ve all been forced to change our way of life these past few months. While for some it has been subtle, for the vast majority of us our lives have almost become unrecognizable. We keep hearing the words “new normal” everywhere you turn, and quite frankly they’ve come to sound a little irritating.
It’s one thing to choose to seek out change and new and different experiences, but what about when we have no choice and change is expected, no demanded of us? Our response really comes down to two very opposing choices: we resist and likely find ourselves miserable on a daily basis, or we remain open and curious about what lies ahead.
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Amidst all the chaos that current events have created the message may have gotten lost in all the noise. Why is it important to notice? Does it really matter?
I would answer that with a resounding YES! If your life is perfect and you don’t have a care in the world, then you may not need to read on. However, if stress, fear, anxiety, sadness or anger are familiar to you then you’re in the right place, and I hope to bring a little bit of clarity to what you can do about it.
As a mental health counselor, I have had the privilege of seeing people walk through the door of unavoidable change and come through the other side a lot stronger because they let curiosity lead them. I encourage all of my clients to stay curious - to be open to learn new things and seek opportunities to grow as an individual.
We don’t know when or if life will return to “normal.” We may be waiting a very long time. Perhaps now is the time to take a closer look at our lives and allow curiosity to explore what may need to change, what may need to be embraced and what we have to learn to make our life a life worth living.
Counselors are available to help you navigate through these strange and uncertain times. Perhaps you’ve never given a thought to meeting with a therapist for help to cope with life’s changes. I challenge you to give in to curiosity and take the first step to defining your “new normal.”
Robin Halper, LPC-IT, is a psychotherapist-in-training who practices at Waupun Memorial Hospital’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Services. She loves to hear people’s stories and journeying with them toward a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Through her relational approach to therapy, Halper teaches coping skills and is passionate about helping others uncover the obstacles that prevent them from having meaningful and healthy relationships.