Chautauqua Physical & Occupational Therapy Blog

Embracing Your New Normal


I recently read a great meme on the internet that said “Mom, can we go out for dinner yet? I’m sick of eating groceries for dinner!” It made me chuckle. I laughed because I could relate to this on so many levels. I long for the day that I do not have to wear a mask to the grocery store or clean every single grocery item before it comes into my house. It still seems so foreign, yet my “new normal” now. It only takes 21 days to change a habit and it been more than 21 days since we began our “new normal.” Habit changed. A new behavior has replaced the old.

In my most recent blog I discussed ways to find your JOY again. It was full of ideas of ways to look at the cup “half full.”  Ways to be creative with what you have got. In this blog I hope you go from finding your joy to digging a little deeper and finding PEACE with the situation we are ALL currently in.

Unfortunately, this is what we have been handed. Avoiding it is just not possible. So, we must embrace it.  Many people are expressing feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious during this pandemic. We find ourselves out of routine and struggling within our new routine. We miss our friends, our family, our sporting events and community outings. We are suddenly asked to be teachers and caregivers. Work may be the same, completely different, or you may not be even working at all. And what about a paycheck? Will I get one? Will I make enough money to pay the bills?  Will unemployment answer the phone today? You may even find yourself crying everyday…

We did not choose this. This is not fair. Uncertainty and fear become prominent emotions. Finding peace is easier said than done.

Guess what? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Read it again. You are not alone.  Everyone is feeling this in some sort of manner. Some are struggling more than others, but I promise you, everyone is feeling something. So how do we find that peace? How do we embrace our “new normal?”

I wish I could wave a magic wand, bop you on the top of your head ever so slightly and say, “now you have peace.” Unfortunately, I do not have a magic wand. But I do have a couple of suggestions to help you get through this.

  1. Reach out to your family and friends. Pick up the phone and make an “old school” phone call. Go ahead and vent! Let it all out. I am sure the person on the other end of the line can relate.
  2. Use some sort of platform, such as Zoom, to visually see and talk to a group of friends or family. Maybe even have a glass of wine while you are doing it! Wink! Wink!
  3. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air and Vitamin D. Clear your mind and re-focus on what you do have, not what has been taken away from you.
  4. Exercise. Exercise. There is a tremendous amount of research that proves exercising is an anti-depressant. It will make you feel better to get up and move.
  5. Find peace through other avenues such as churches, on-line self-help apps/internet sites, or books.
  6. Uncover an old hobby you use to love and never had time to do because you were so busy, or find a new one! Maybe there was something out there you have always wanted to try! Go for it!
  7. Take a nap. Sleep, for the love of goodness, sleep. It is okay, and essential for your mental health!
  8. Eat healthy. Proper nutrition is crucial. Do not fall into the category of “Quarantine 50!”.

Doing some, if not all these things will not only help you feel “normal” again, but it should help you find peace in your life. So, close your eyes, take a deep breath and open your eyes with a new perspective on life. Fall in love with your “new normal” and find peace, my friend.


Physical Therapy | Mayville NY | Jamestown NY
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Amy Livengood, OTR/L, CEAS II
Hello! I am Amy Livengood and I have been a practicing Occupational Therapist since 2004. I graduated from Keuka College in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State with honors. Following graduation, I began practicing in the pediatric setting. I originally worked with school-aged children but have also ventured into early intervention services, working with children birth - 3 years old. In June 2006, I had the opportunity to join the team at Chautauqua Physical & Occupational Therapy, focusing my profession in a privately-owned outpatient orthopedic clinic in Jamestown, New York. I took the dive and have been doing outpatient hand therapy for almost 14 years now. Since then I have become a certified ergonomics assessment specialist and, most recently, specialized in lymphedema. I am grateful to work for an amazing practice that encourages me to grow and thrive in a profession that I love and am truly passionate about. I have been blessed to be married to my amazing husband, Jonathan for 14 years. He has given me my greatest accomplishments, my children, my daughter Khloe Grace (12 years old) and my son, Kale James (9 years old).