Making the Most of the “New Normal” Through Meditation
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Making the Most of the “New Normal” Through Meditation

2020 is, thankfully, in our collective rearview mirror. Coronavirus vaccines are being shipped and distributed around the world; every day the end of the pandemic seems to draw nearer. But many of us are still living the “new normal” established last spring—a life with as little face-to-face interaction and as few trips outside of the house as possible. Some of us have tried to replicate those lost social moments with virtual meetings and other types of correspondence, while others have occupied their time learning new skills or adopting new habits. If you find yourself in the latter camp, consider adding a routine of meditation/mindfulness to the habits you develop now and carry over into your post-coronavirus life.

Why Meditation?

Meditation, contrary to what you may have seen in movies or on television, is just a practice of turning your thoughts inward for a period of self-reflection. You need nothing more than time and a reasonably quiet, distraction-free environment—things that most of us have in excess right now. For many people, meditation is more akin to “planning” or “visualizing success” than to the stereotypical notion of sitting in lotus position and chanting endlessly. Your reflective time can be spent focusing on constructive solutions to problems in your daily life, goals you would like to accomplish and the best way to achieve them, areas of self-improvement, expressing gratitude, or in any other manner that has you turn your mind’s eye inward.

Where Should You Start?

Your goals for reflection and self-improvement don’t need to be lofty or particularly ambitious. Meditation can be used to achieve ends as seemingly small as unplugging for half an hour or softening the rough edges of a sour mood. For some of us, improvement may be less important than a simple break from a chaotic household, the constant “on” feeling of working from home, or the dread of endlessly scrolling news feeds to see what else has gone wrong with the world. The point is that you should tailor your goals to your own situation and mood. You should take what you need from meditative practice, not try to reach some hackneyed ideal of enlightenment or worldly understanding. Meditation is nothing more than a path to meaningfully considering yourself and your feelings in a more objective fashion.

Hopefully, the “new normal” to which we’ve all adapted won’t last much longer. We have every reason to be optimistic that 2021 will be characterized by a return to life as we knew it before the pandemic—mostly. As the lockdown period begins to enter the home stretch, remember that you can (and should) approach life afterwards with new habits and new attitudes.