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How to move forward

Updated: May 24, 2020

Adjusting to our new normal during the global pandemic can be challenging because it is a time marked with uncertainty. To move forward in corona times, try instead to embrace the new normal, keep working towards your goals, stay present and connect with others.

Photographs: iStock

Text: Bailey Jensen

Now that you find yourself working or studying from home try to continue life as if you were still getting up each day to go to the office. Yes, some days it will feel particularly satisfying to take a virtual work meeting in your pj’s (your colleagues will never know!) but it is essential to feel a sense of normalcy and accomplishment, so continue to get ready for each day. Set up an organized work environment that is both cosy and effective.

Embracing Our New Normal Instead of your regular gym workout and daily movement, try an at-home exercise. Luckily in Denmark, we are still allowed to go outside. Take advantage of this while remaining socially distant. Schedule a break to get some fresh air and exercise while listening to your favourite podcast. These moments will quickly become some of your favourite times of the day and something to look forward to in the face of our new normal.

Onward To maintain forward momentum in your life, keep working towards your goals. For example, during the past six months, I have been dedicated to studying for my Danish Citizenship Exam this June. While I have been studying for the exam for a few months, gaining dual citizenship is something I have been actively working towards for nearly seven years. Despite the high likelihood that the citizenship exam will be cancelled and postponed, I am still proceeding onward in studying for it as if it is happening. I encourage you to do the same with your goals and plans. More than ever, it is a great time to make new goals for yourself.

"Spending time with one another in times of social distancing may be different than what we are used to, but the essence of connection remains the same."

Stay Present Take each day one day at a time and resist the temptation to succumb to the uncertainty. Being an expatriate in Denmark does add another layer of insecurity during this uncertain time. Once the United States and Denmark both closed their borders, I found myself in a panic. I began frantically wondering when I would be able to see my family again. The best thing to do about these feelings of uncertainty is to open up, in order to process this. True vulnerability and openness will help you connect with yourself and others. I found the second I said things out loud, their hold on me quickly dissipated.

Like many other people, important events and things we have been looking forward to are now cancelled. It is okay to mourn the losses of a missed graduation, birthday party, big trip, or a wedding. But after you have properly acknowledged your disappointment, be sure to pick yourself up, dust yourself, and move forward! This will all help you to stay present and take it one moment at a time.

Connect Take time each day to connect with yourself. Take a walk by yourself, journal in the sunshine, meditate or do some yoga. There are likely many more thoughts and things to think through than before. Take the time to process this and take care of yourself. Along with connecting with yourself, be sure to stay close to your friends and family. Connect with your friends through a watch party, do trivia night with your family, or make a virtual playdate with your niece or nephew. Spending time with one another in times of social distancing may be different than what we are used to, but the essence of connection remains the same.

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