New Normal

by karen on August 20, 2020

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For many of us, 2020 has been an uprooting year. Instability in the world has affected various areas of our lives, including our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. But as we finish out this unprecedented year, it is extremely important to adjust to the changes, and we have a few tips to help you do just that.

Uncertainty is stressful. Not knowing what our work environments will look like, if our kids will go back to school, or whether or not we’ll be able to plan any trips for ourselves or our families in the near future are all valid concerns, and some of the stress they cause can affect our whole lives.

Stress can have a negative impact on:

  • Social interactions
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Activity levels
  • Mental and spiritual health
  • Long-term health

One way we can work to manage stress in times of change is by creating a “new normal” for ourselves. Many of us have initially put off creating an interim routine, either due to hope that things will quickly return to the way they were, or simply due to procrastination (a common stress response). But there is no time like the present, especially when trying to plan for tomorrow is like trying to see through a thick fog. 

Routine is extremely important for all human beings, but it also looks different for everyone. So instead of telling you what you should do with your day, we’ve compiled some tools to help you determine what will help make you happiest. What we can control is how we move through our day, so settle in, take care, and find joy.

Take Inventory

It can be helpful to ask both big and small questions to determine how you’d like your routine to look.

  • What is missing in your routine, now and before? 
  • What is new in your life and undesired?
  • What little things bring you joy? How can you include them daily?
  • What are your goals, long-term and short-term? 

Ex: I never take my breaks, I’ll be sure to add those in. A little extra time in the mornings has been added to my day, I’ll use it to squeeze in a workout instead of sleeping in and feeling unproductive. A warm cup of tea is a pick-me-up I want to include in my afternoons. I want to drink 64 oz of water a day. I’m going to start planning to buy a new car next year.

Take from your old routine to establish your new one. Include elements you enjoyed, exclude those you didn’t, and add something new for yourself.

Include realistic goals for your diet, activity plan, social interactions, and relaxation. Happiness is all about balance—find yours.

If you’d like additional consultation on your personal goals, we’d love to hear from you. Please schedule an appointment by calling (775) 360-6500, or visit

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection.

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