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In partnership with The Fresh Toast

2020 keeps getting stranger. Here’s how to keep it from rubbing off on you too much.

Now that the season is changing and COVID-19 cases are rising, time might feel a little displaced. Weeks fly by but the circumstances remain the same. It’s a feeling that makes everything around you feel a little out of whack. Things won’t go back to the “normal” that we’re used to for months to come…at least.

Making ourselves focus and creating a space to enjoy things takes much longer than it used to, back when our routines weren’t so disrupted. This extra energy can have us feeling exhausted, leaving little room for self-care.

Here are 5 things you can do to feel normal:

Routine, routine, routine

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Our routines are a big part of what makes us feel normal, which is why we’re so affected by the lack of commuting and time spent at the office. While it’s unrealistic to have a routine like the one you had pre-pandemic, routines can be created when doing anything. Even a simple routine, like having coffee or a shower in the morning, can help you start your day off right. Think about  how you wake up, how you sleep and how you have meals.These pivotal times of your day were often ruled by routines and might now be different because of social restrictions.

Do things you like

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Try to pick up an activity or hobby that makes you happy and that shifts your focus from stress to joy. If you’re not feeling motivated, push yourself to do things or add these activities into existing routines, that way they will be easier to get done and can get incorporated into your life as habits. Try to read, cook and exercise more, all activities that when done with the right mindset can make you feel happy and fulfilled.

Decorate for the holidays

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While this year’s holiday season will be atypical, it’s still worth celebrating. The holidays can make you feel happy and connected with your loved ones, even if you can expect an added dose of melancholy due to all that’s happened this year. Decorating your home for the holidays will also give you a much needed sense of control and can remind you that you’ve made it this far and that another year is coming…right?

Plan ahead

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Planning can be stressful, but it can also be something that adds excitement to your days, giving you something to look forward to. Plan for simple things, like dinners and movie nights. You can also plan phone and video calls with friends and family.

Talk out your feelings 

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If you’re feeling like your mental health has taken a blow this year, reach out to a professional or talk to your friends and loved ones, who might connect you with someone or suggest a solution. If you don’t have the money or drive for therapy, you can look into online therapy (teletherapy). Still, it’s important to get outside opinions, that way you don’t underestimate your situation and get the necessary help if warranted.

Read more on The Fresh Toast