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Rush to Return to Normal? How Mindfulness Can Help!

The last year and a half have been exhausting and for those of us who have been fortunate to make it to this point in the global pandemic; that has affected so many lives. It’s important to take some time and reflect. Vaccines have been approved and distributed and with increasing numbers of people vaccinated there’s been this push to “return to normal”. We’ve heard it and if you practice mindfulness then it’s important to be critical of what that actually means. What was “normal” in our pre-pandemic lives? What did we love and appreciate in our lives before and what do we love and value now? Has there been a shift in your way of thinking and how you approach things after living through a horrific and traumatic global pandemic? In some libraries (mostly public, but some academic libraries) have been in-person work only a couple of months into the pandemic. Some of us have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to work remotely throughout the pandemic. At my institution and in the state I live in, we’re returning to pre-pandemic life in the fall. I’m appreciative that our University Libraries department is giving us some leeway, but I also know there’s a staff/faculty divide over who has to be back fully and who’s allowed to continue to work remotely some of the time. 

When thinking about this rush to return to pre-pandemic life and how mindfulness can help with the transition, here are my goals in using mindfulness to help with the transition: 

  • Be intentional: My goal is to be patient with myself and others and to communicate that effectively. If something makes me uncomfortable then I will try and communicate how I’m feeling. 
  • Focusing on my awareness: Being in the moment and aware of my surroundings. If something feels out of place, observe and adjust. 
  • Practicing slow-living: While doing my work and doing the daily things in my life, instead of rushing through the tasks to check them off my list, I slow down and enjoy the task and think about what I’m actually doing, what I enjoy about it and what I don’t really like about it. 
  • Taking care of myself: I want to expand the definition of “self-care” and move more towards thinking and communicating what I need in order. 

One of the most important things to consider when being rushed is to stop and think critically about why you’re being rushed. Then take a step back to observe your surroundings and then make decisions on what’s best for you. My goal during the “return to normal” is to think about what’s going on around me and how this works for me, my life, and my family. 

About Mallary 

Mallary Rawls (she/her) is a Humanities Librarian who strives to practice mindfulness in her everyday life. 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


5 thoughts on “Rush to Return to Normal? How Mindfulness Can Help!

  1. My sentiments exactly, what a MINDFUL meditative prespective. I hear power and peace for self and surroundings… Fortunately, there is no return to normal in my view, normal is has been altered and EVERYTHING is different and ABNORMAL. Abnormal in my view is not negative but it is “away from” normal and it is unusual. After losing so much of humanity and understanding Mother NaTuRe’s crISIS, we will be disregarding her energy and in some perspective disrespectful if we “return to normal”. In the words of my soul brother (we have the same birthday-August 29), Michael Jackson, No message could have been any clearer
    If we want to make the world a better place
    WE got to make ‘that’ change… TODAY!
    You present four divine ways to start (Be intentional, Focus on our awareness, Practice slow living, and Take care of self) respectfully and in order… you are appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

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