(****DETAILS AND OUTLINES FOR TRANSITION TIPS ARE BELOW****)
As we transition out of the pandemic we are in uncharted territory. Life looks like it did before the pandemic, but things are definitely different. Building a new map to help ourselves and our kids transition to post pandemic life with intention is important to consider as we emerge from the last year and a half.
I recently had an experience that taught me that while this can be overwhelming and scary, we can find ways to navigate through this transition with more ease and grace.
Last month I had the good fortune to visit Brooklyn, New York to help my niece celebrate her graduation from college. My husband grew up in Manhattan, so I have been to New York so we visit frequently. On the first morning I went for a jog in Prospect Park, Central Park's Brooklyn sister. The park was in bloom, teeming with green foliage, flowers and happy New Yorkers enjoying a perfect spring morning. It felt just like Central Park joggers and bikers enjoying laps on the road around the park.
As I made my way around, I started to worry that going all the way was too long for the time I had. So I decided to cut through the park. Sadly, the path I chose did not go through to the other side, but dead ended at the lake. After a few attempts to find my way, I realized I was lost. Eventually I found some signage, but because I had no frame of reference the landmarks were not helpful. This was definitely NOT Central Park. At this point I was stressed, nervous and uneasy. I was no longer enjoying my jog. Eventually I got back on track with the help of a fellow jogger. It wasn't easy to admit I was lost or to ask for help, especially in what looked and felt like a familiar place, but in the end it was worth it, leaving behind my stress to enjoy the rest of my morning run.
Later in the day I was reflecting on my experience in the park. It struck me that it isn’t unlike the transition that we find ourselves in right now. While I have been to Brooklyn many times, the park was new to me. And while Prospect Park is LIKE Central Park it is also VERY different. This is not unlike the familiarity of the things we are returning to post pandemic. While things seem the same they are different and so are we. Navigating old situations in the new post pandemic context can cause anxiety. It is easy to feel lost and stressed just like I did that morning in the park. While coming out of this challenging year might at times strange and overwhelming it should also feel good.
What kind of support do you need to return to activities, social life and work? And how can we support our kids going back to school full time this fall, attending camp this summer, and learning to socialize with family and friends in person again?
To get you started, I have put together a few tips to help you and your kids find your way:
We are ALL experiencing post pandemic life for the first time. I hope that these tips can help you and your kids go from less anxiety to greater ease and joy as we resume some of life's pleasures we had to give up during the pandemic.
And if you need more support, you have options. Find a therapist for emotional support, a parent coach to navigate new parenting challenges and connect with friends about challenges and successes. Ask for the help you need, get the support you deserve and make the most of enjoying this transition out of a very difficult time and into better days.
Jenny Michaelson is a PCI,
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