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Recovery blog

Carpe Diem: Embracing the New Normal

By: Kristin Szostak, MA, LPC, Site Director at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia – Center City

Posted on July 20, 2020

Most of us have been following the news about the coronavirus since earlier in the year. Closing schools, businesses and stores for two weeks? Okay, sure, this felt uncomfortable, but manageable. Then, the update. The quarantine is extending thirty days and "social distancing" is trending. This may have felt frustrating; however, there was a time frame in mind when we would resume our regular, day-to-day experiences. We have now been living the "new normal" for four months, and this may have led to increasing feelings of distress and creating a challenge to organize and plan each day.

So, how can we reappraise the "new normal" and embrace these changes? Think about a hobby you have been considering and just did not have the time to devote to pursuing it before now. (There are countless projects that can be created with some yarn and a crochet hook!) Perhaps there is a mystery novel on a shelf in your home you have started to read at least three times and have not yet finished. (Is the cliché about the butler being the culprit true?) Or a closet that has been a stowaway space for belongings for so many years, it has morphed into a time capsule. (You may uncover that one thing you're willing to set aside to donate that a stranger has been scouring thrift shops to find!)

While this is an uncertain and concerning time for the world, it is also an opportunity to explore, learn and grow individually. Let's approach this change as an opportunity to try something new, or follow through with something we have been postponing.

Kristin Szostak, MA, LPC, is the Site Director at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia – Center City. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and her Master's degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University. Ms. Szostak has extensive experience in leadership, administration and direct care, serving those in recovery from substance use disorders, co-occurring mental health disorders and individuals in the criminal justice system. She has also worked in a multitude of community agencies where she provided personalized and complete care. Ms. Szostak strives earnestly to develop and foster connections as she walks with individuals along their journey to recovery and a full return to living.
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