When I suffered a stroke a couple of years ago, I was convinced that period in my life was going to be it for me. After all, even though I was fortunate to survive, it was still going to require intensive therapy and of course, discovering what my new normal was going to be.

The road to better took a while, but in time, I found my new level of balance by listening to my body, learning from my journey and ultimately being kind of myself.

After coming through that period and now stepping into the midst of a pandemic, I find myself again trying to figure out what my new normal looks like. That said, to navigate this new normal, I’m focusing on embracing a handful of lessons that were always logical, but suddenly seem essential right about now.

One. Human connection is essential, even if it’s not in person. Who knew it would take a global pandemic and in the advent of so much technology to realize just how connected we can be with friends and family if we choose to be. Since I’ve been in quarantine, I’ve had more calls, texts and video chats than I did before this happened, in large part because people are realizing with down time, they need other people. And, truth is, it’s so darn easy to do… When you’re not preoccupied with your daily chaos. And it’s sobering when you’re watching history and the world change in front of you.

Two. Your choices should be driven by your self-care. We’re living in crazy times. Even after people are let our of their quarantines and able to frolic again, the way we live our daily lives has changed. I know it did after the stroke, and not it’s totally changed again. That said, it’s a good time to make choices that are focused on what you need to do for yourself. Taking your needs into consideration will allow you to place a better emphasis on your physical and emotional self-care.

Three. Live cautiously, not fearfully. This is hard, because we’re being trained to treat this current universe as our normal. That said, we should try to balance this feeling so it doesn’t hinder us from completely living once this period is over. Our normal may not be the same for a long while, but it’s us to us to determine what that version of our normal looks like.

Four. Look for the upside. Even though I do believe in finding the positive, I’ll freely admit to struggling with this when my brain gets the best of my heart. That said, by trying to find the positive, I inevitably end up looking for ways to make lemonade with lemons.

Five. Use change of plans to chart a new course. I’ve always been a “map follower”. That said, having had plans get completely thrown off course, going through crisis has been a fascinating test of my strength… And, how clever I am to chart my own path. Talk about the ultimate test.

Six. It’ll eventually be in the rear view mirror. At some point, this period and moment will be over and we’ll inevitably be on the other side.

These look like really confusing and scary times. That said, despite them, I find myself focused on what the other side looks like. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to get past this.