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The following article was written by Wellness Promotion Graduate Student, Kimberly Humphrey.

It’s hard to believe that we have been “remote learning” or “remote working” since March. That’s over half of the spring semester, and I can confidently say none of us were prepared for this. As an instructor, student, parent, and community member, there have been a lot of changes and whether I was ready or not, they were happening, and I just had to deal with it like everyone else. With the semester coming to an end, or if you are graduating like myself, the thought of uncertainty is constant…so what now?

We keep hearing about “the new normal” and what our lives or our society will look like a post-pandemic crisis. But what does this mean? As we venture out into the world as restrictions are lifted, the way we go about our daily lives will look different. The first obvious difference is the use of masks and enforcing social distancing in public places. But the question remains, how can we adapt and adjust to the new normal? The answer is: changing our mindset.

The following are some tips that have been shared by experts regarding the idea of shifting your mindset.

  1. Optimism: According to Psychology Today, having an optimistic perspective means that our mental attitude reflects the belief that the outcomes of events or experiences will generally be positive. By having an optimistic attitude, it can generate joy and potentially increase the likelihood of achieving your goals. It is not to say that negative aspects disappear completely, but that we can choose to spend more time focusing on the positives rather than the negative. The UCCS Wellness Center shares some helpful practices on how to increase self-awareness surrounding optimism here.
  • Developing Self-Compassion: Experts from describe self-compassion as treating yourself the way you would treat a friend or someone you care about who is having a difficult time. Three core elements come to the surface when we are in pain including self-kindness, common humanity (everyone makes mistakes and feels pain), and mindfulness. Despite the inadequacies we feel or believe that we have, by taking the time to respond to our own struggles, by embracing ourselves, we can give an increase in the strength and courage needed to thrive. You may have guessed it, but here are some ways the UCCS Wellness Center suggests on how to generate more self-compassion. 
  • Gratitude: If you read my last blog post about Tips to Manage Anxiety during COVID-19, then you may have read about the benefits of gratitude. The topic of gratitude is probably my most favorite tip to share as I truly experience the paybacks of taking the time to show gratitude. I highly recommend adding this into your weekly, or daily routine. When you practice gratitude, you spend some time appreciating things or people that you are grateful for in your life. You can even be thankful for yourself and appreciate what you have done or where you are at in your journey. When we are open and willing to express, show, or share gratitude, we can increase our happiness. Here are additional resources to practice gratitude shared by the UCCS Wellness Center.

I hope these mindset tips will help guide you into the “new normal” that we are all facing. At the end of the day, the pandemic and how it affects our daily lives are mostly out of our control. But I challenge you to take what you do have control over and shape your new normal with a positive mindset, have more patience and love for yourself, and take the time to recognize and appreciate your strength. You can do this. We can do this.

If you are a student, remember the Wellness Center is offering tele-counseling during this time. More can be found here.

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