New Normal


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Undo.pngOne of the icons on a computer screen shows a reverse arrow pictogram, illustrating the opportunity to reverse a recent action and return the document to a previous state. This is a very useful action, providing a quick and easy path to re-set the screen (especially following a 'typo' or mistake) and return to a previous position.  Life is more complicated and less predictable than an action taken when using a computer.

Humans, because of their malleable brains (sometimes referred to as 'neural plasticity') have an extraordinary capacity to change and adapt; however people are, in turn, altered through the process of making these changes and by their personal  experiences. Individuals, who lived through the Great Depression, frequently became more frugal, more careful with resources, long after the necessity for these habits had passed. People who experienced war, have beenTime-for-Change.jpg changed by their experiences and these changes (which may be perceived as positive or negative), have an impact upon the neural structure, influencing thinking and behavioural patterns.  Nothing remains the same; people are constantly changing, adapting to new circumstances and evolving.  Individuals are perpetually changing, developing and are greatly influenced by personal encounters and experiences. 

It has been said that the only 'normal' is the setting on a washing machine; we are all unique individuals.  Restrictions, imposed because of the health crisis, are now slowly being lifted. In recognition that individuals and the communities they create have been impacted by recent experiences, there have been frequent references to the 'new normal'.  There are likely to be some changes to societal norms; we can all speculate upon what these might be. There will inevitably be changes in individuals and within families: cognitions and pre-existing patterns of behaviour could change. 

perception.jpgConversations might focus upon what these changes could be and whether they are considered positive adaptations that are likely to serve individuals, families and communities well, within the 'new normal'.  Recent restrictions have resulted in many individuals and families experiencing time together that has not been 'diluted' by as much time apart.  This possibly had an impact upon individuals' self-awareness and family members' perceptions of each other. One's perception is one's reality. Perceptions may not have been tested for accuracy but simply assumed to be correct. Various relationships and a range of skills might have changed: intensified or reduced; enhanced or weakened, during this time.  As patterns are resumed or changed through altered circumstances, there will be further adaptations required to establish a 'new normal'.  Individuals can use this time as an opportunity to adopt any benefits gained and discard those that are deemed undesirable.   

© Michele Juratowitch                                                             

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Last reviewed 19 May 2020
Last updated 19 May 2020