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The New Normal Created by the Pandemic - It is Time to Adjust for the Future

Thomas J. Benza, CHt and Jean Eljay, PhD, MS, CMT, CHt, NLPc, AdvCH, CHt

Is it “in, out or hybrid re-boarding” for the office? One thing is for certain, the global pandemic continues to introduce new stressors in our lives. Society shook through an immediate and profound transformation this past year. Previously unheard-of practices became common e.g., social distancing, face masks, and repeated hand washing. Adjusting to remote schooling proved to most parents that teaching is a challenging profession. In the home, keeping children interested and motivated became a grueling and sometimes disheartening task.

Now, one year in, online shopping for groceries, streaming newly released movies and ordering delivery from upscale restaurants is the new normal. Many once in a lifetime events were rescheduled online - but is a virtual prom still a prom?

Society learned that having limited or no contact with other humans (besides those in the same household) causes new and unforeseen mental, emotional, spiritual and physical challenges. With the added stress of previous daily challenges, and new uncertainties, unhealthy responses continue to fester. Sales of comfort foods, junk foods, alcohol, tobacco products and drugs skyrocketed, and unhealthy habits took a strong hold. Healthy habits became limited or quickly furloughed. A recent study published in JAMA1. showed that the average American gained 2 pounds per month during the pandemic. Of concern now is bringing the children and families back into a healthy emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental space.

Continuous contact with spouses and children can be demanding. Short term it might have been satisfactory, but this marathon that was the past year drained energy from a lot of people. These elements demonstrate long term effects on 1). job performance 2). mental stability, and 3). physical and emotional health. Making ends meet in this environment is much harder. Stress and anxiety grow as each group searches for an end. The time is near when a return, in some form, to a more traditional office environment will be required. This change again will cause new and challenging uncertainties. Whatever the assigned in-office work schedule, new dilemmas and a new balance between home and life will be necessary.

Previous catastrophes have shown that new upheavals will create severe increases in poor sleep, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or other mood changes. This has been a year of emergency responses and re-evaluations. Improving and sustaining the health of individuals and families requires constant replenishing of the self-care toolkit. This allows a smooth transition into the office in a healthy way. Perhaps more importantly, a fully thought-out toolbox helps to create and maintain a balance between family, personal life, and career, while optimizing fulfillment and satisfaction.

Hypnosis is a natural and effective way to fill the survival toolkit. This process helps to identify and help in handling any new challenges. A hypnotherapist identifies the source of profound stress, anxiety, and depressive fears, as well as other unhealthy behaviors. It is a simple and straightforward process where suggestions reinforce a positive transition that include measurable benefits in homelife, personal relationships, and overall behavior.

1.Lin AL, Vittinghoff E, Olgin JE, Pletcher MJ, Marcus GM. Body Weight Changes During Pandemic-Related Shelter-in-Place in a Longitudinal Cohort Study. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Mar 1;4(3):e212536. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.2536. PMID: 33749764; PMCID: PMC7985720.



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