Mental Health
The New Normal After COVID-19

The New Normal After COVID-19

4 min read


Nancy Slotnick

When I went to overnight camp as a kid, I was homesick.  It wasn’t so much that I missed my family, but that I had no sense of my identity when I was on my own without them. So, I just cried.  

Pandemic time has brought me back to that feeling.

We’re so isolated from our networks that we may feel homesick, whether or not our “old lives” were so great.  To get to the next “New Normal” that is being discussed, as the country reopens, involves invoking your wildest imagination and then gathering the social courage to get there.  

You can manifest the life you want to have, but you have to design that life first.  As a coach, I function as the architect for both individuals and companies to envision the lifestyle that best suits them.  

Rather than ruminating over homesick feelings, let’s term this process as getting to homewell.  Just as with Darwin’s evolutionary theory, there is a theory to which I subscribe: the survival-of-the-fittest life. I believe that there exists an optimal way to run your life to maximize your happiness.  Figuring that path out -- for your work life, your relationship/dating/family life, and for your leisure time -- is simultaneously a fun and overwhelming process.  

How to Design Your New Normal

Here's how I approach this task with my clients:

1. Take stock of every aspect of your life in the past year.

This inventory can include relationship status, living situation, geographic location, work satisfaction and productivity, finances, time management, and schedule.

2. Set out to develop and design a life that fits you and your true self.

Imagine what could change and feel the good feeling of having that life.  Just let yourself believe that there is a better version of you and your circumstances that could be conceivable.

3. Take steps, one at a time, toward the goal of your new future.

Oftentimes, change is experienced as a threat because it feels new and different and that is scary.

However, if you can tolerate the feeling and embrace change, you can improve your life.  

You can always revert to your old habits if you come to find that you had it right the first time.

It’s generally good to shake things up a bit every once in a while.

4. Work with a therapist or coach to plan your life and separate out the rational concerns from the irrational fears.

If you’ve determined that your fears are irrational and not founded on legitimate health concerns, then you should push yourself past your comfort zone to make change.

Just like a trainer at the gym, a coach can push you in ways that can be hard to push yourself, so that’s where someone like me can come in.  

Regardless of whether you have help from a professional, the evolutionary process starts with you.  You’re empowered to reinvent your life at any time.  

Since so much has changed during the Pandemic, it’s as good a time as any to dare yourself to find your personal New Normal.

Newton’s Law states that “Objects in motion tend to remain in motion. Objects at rest tend to remain at rest.”  During lockdown, we’ve all been at rest in a certain way.  But beginning the post-pandemic re-entry process puts us in motion.  You can ride the wave of that motion to the life you want.

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About the author

Nancy Slotnick started her coaching career in 2002 in the area of Dating and Relationships. Life experience has informed her that maintaining relationships, whether in work, family, friends, love or life in general, is central to wellness, success and happiness. Nancy is a Harvard graduate in Social Studies, a Life Coach, published author, entrepreneur, foodie, wife and Mom and she has appeared on Oprah and the Today Show and in the New York Times. You can learn more about Nancy on her website,

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