Midlife Strategies

30 Steps to Build a New Normal in the Time of COVID

After the disruption to ‘normal’ life caused by COVID, here are 30 steps to start afresh and simplify your new normal this month onwards.

By Kay Newton

The month of September will be heaven or hell, and you get to choose. It is that simple. We create our reality. COVID confirmed that our basic needs for safety, food, warmth and shelter are still relevant. At the same time, there is a general realisation that the world needs to change in so many ways. How can we help create collective change from an individual level?

The answer is to start with small, simple steps.

September can be your month to be inspired and creative, to find abundance and love. Yet if you are dealing with mental and physical clutter, feeling overwhelmed with the complexity of the world holding you back, then, first, it is time to simplify.

The key to simplification is to take small step-by-step daily actions. This month is the opportunity to discover what truly matters in your life and eliminate the rest.

Here are 30 examples of simple things you can focus on over the next month to give you more space and tranquility in your life.

The lists below allow you to contemplate one task in hand and get curious. Decide what is relevant to you and then how you wish to tackle the project. The guidelines below are for you to explore without any detail attached. You get to define the space.

Spend just 15 minutes each day to create lasting change. Notice if any of the tasks below make you feel anxious or uneasy, excited and energised. Then decide how you want to react. It is your life, so don’t compromise or settle for less.

The Internals

  1. Find three things to be grateful for every day.
  2. Spend 15 minutes in nature and contemplate your inner thoughts.
  3. Randomly stop and listen to what you say to yourself. Change if you do not like what you hear.
  4. Listen to your gut feelings. Change what you do not like.
  5. Learn something new however small.
  6. Avoid ‘swear’ words (would, could, should, perhaps, maybe, but, try).
  7. Be inspired. Read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a movie or find a mentor.
  8. Look after your insides. Stay hydrated, exercise, eat and sleep well.
  9. Laugh, dance, be like a child and celebrate all wins however small.
  10. Be sensibly selfish (fill your energy cup before giving to others).

The Externals

  1. Does your home serve you? If not consider what it would mean to move.
  2. Declutter (put the timer on for 15 minutes and hit one area of your home).
  3. Remove toxic cleaning equipment (Google the ingredients if you are unsure).
  4. Remove toxic personal hygiene and makeup products.
  5. Find a natural alternative for plastic items in your home.
  6. Let go of any toxic relationships.
  7. Strengthen and make great personal connections.
  8. Is your paperwork in order? (wills, power of attorney)
  9. Finances – do you know your ‘enough number’?
  10. Does your work fill you with joy? If not consider new options.

The Internet

  1. Unsubscribe from platforms signed up for yet never visited.
  2. Delete all emails still unread from the last 12 months.
  3. Decide which social media platform you like the best – delete / snooze the rest.
  4. Put a block on your phone for an hour a day.
  5. Switch off your internet / phone at night.
  6. Update all your passwords.
  7. Use a timer when social media scrolling.
  8. Ban mobiles at the meal table – talk to each other face-to-face.
  9. Stop looking at the news and media.
  10. Cloud data storage uses world energy; clear what is not relevant.

As you invest time and energy in decluttering both mental and physical baggage, you make space for creativity and allow your true value to shine. As you align yourself with your values, your positive energy, in turn, will ripple out into the world.

It may take a conscious effort, yet it does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. As you invest in your life and make space, you can extend the list to include new areas of your personal life, or you can extend the time spent in one area of the fields above.

For example, you may want to delve deeper into your belief system and update what no longer serves. Or you may have noticed resistance concerning one item of the list above, and you want to explore it in detail.

To do this, you may wish to get professional help. Consider investing in a personal coach or mentor who can support you in your new endeavours to simplify your life.

If there is any lesson we have learned from COVID, we only have today, the present, and we have to make the best use of it. There has never been a more critical time in history to follow your dreams. Without baggage, you are free to roam further.

Kay Newton is an award-winning speaker, writer and midlife strategist. Follow her on KayNewton.com.

Photos: Unsplash. First published in eShe’s September 2020 issue

1 comment on “30 Steps to Build a New Normal in the Time of COVID

  1. I love your reframe of “swear” words! They do WEAR us out!

    Thanks for your list, which I’m going to print and use.

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