When life changes dramatically, all of a sudden we have to get used to a 'new normal'. Read How to Come to Terms with Your New Normal for some helpful tips.

You might have noticed things have been extremely quiet around here lately.

After months of job hunting, I started a new full-time Executive Assistant role mid-October. The last month or so has been a whirlwind of training, learning and settling into my incredibly busy new role.

A few weeks ago my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It came as a shock to everyone. Last week Mum had major surgery. The next step is chemotherapy.

In a matter of weeks, my Mum’s new normal has changed completely.

Consequently so has mine. The last several weeks have been a blur of tests, results and hospital visits.

My priorities have changed dramatically.

There are probably a lot of you feeling the same way, regardless of whatever your new normal represents for you.  It could be a  new job, getting married, a new house, a new baby, retiring or setting off on a trip around the world.

Regardless of whether your new normal is tinged with sadness or excitement (or a combination of both), here are my tips on coping the best you can.

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Deal with any denial

Sometimes we don’t realize how deeply entrenched in denial we truly are.

The day before I started my new job, I had a medical appointment. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I started to feel quite emotional. Then I started to cry (something I don’t do a lot of). Suddenly all of the denial I had been holding in came tumbling out.

I didn’t stop crying for well over an hour.

The whole experience made me realize how bogged down in denial I had been without being fully aware of its influence or effect.

Pretending something isn’t happening doesn’t help. I actually felt a lot better once I dealt with the denial.

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Don’t hang on too tight

Originally I titled this paragraph letting go, but then I realized that isn’t quite the right terminology.

I have no intention of letting go of this blog but I also knew that when I first started working full time and then found out about Mum, I couldn’t hold on too tightly to any unrealistic expectations of myself either.

I knew I had to give myself time away from the blog to get through what has been both a physically and emotionally draining time.

I knew I had to be flexible and kind to myself about how often I posted (even if that meant not posting at all, which has been frustrating).

Cut yourself some slack

My house needs cleaning. It’s Sunday so I have been doing some basic housework. The apartment won’t be spotless by the end of the day and to be honest that is just fine by me.

As I mentioned earlier, priorities shift and we need to shift with them.

Fighting against those priorities will exhaust you.

Accept your current situation

At this point in time, it’s probably obvious my first attempt at being a full-time writer didn’t go quite to plan.

Working for someone else and commuting again has been a big adjustment, one I had to come to terms with quickly.

The emphasis is on the word quickly.

Often we adjust but the truth is we don’t always do it quickly enough. Sometimes we wallow a bit (or a lot) first.

I allow myself to occasionally admit I miss working from home, being creative every day, and working on the blog as much as I was before but I don’t allow myself to wallow. Wallowing won’t help, it will just make me feel worse.

Understanding that my new normal will once again include blogging regularly and being creative is a much more positive approach.

In the meantime, I need to be there for my Mum and give myself whatever love, rest, and time I need.

When life changes abruptly are you quick to adjust or do you take longer to adapt to your new normal?

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