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Quelling Post-Pandemic Anxiety with Intentional Re-Emergence

Quelling Post-Pandemic Anxiety with Intentional Re-Emergence

4 Questions to Consider to Create Your Own New Normal

Depending on where you are in the world, you’re probably somewhere on the spectrum between gingerly stepping your toe back out into the world and full-on cannonballing.

No matter your personal experience with and/or beliefs about this moment in time, I think we can all agree:

Going back is impossible.

(That applies to everything, BTW, not just this inflection point.)

Setting clear boundaries and intentionally stepping into this next chapter of our lives and businesses, though, is essential.

(Unless, of course, you want to get steamrolled by other people’s expectations, old habits, and the “new normal” that the media and powers-that-be have decided for you.)

Yesterday as I was thinking about how many parts of the world are reopening, these words echoed in my mind:

Let it not be wasted.

Quelling Post-Pandemic Anxiety with Intentional Re-Emergence

We’ve just been through something major and are still going through it in many ways.

Though the drums of commerce and productivity may be beating to the rhythm of let’s-get-back-out-there-as-quickly-as-possilbe, it would be irresponsible and careless of us to just barrel forward without being intentional about the way we re-emerge.

As my friend and coach Rha Goddess reminded me:

“We are not the same people we were 15 months ago.”

Let’s not try and pretend we are, okay?

If you’re having post-pandemic anxiety around the world opening up that presents as any of the following:

I actually kind of loved that no one expected me to go anywhere. Now I have to learn to say no again (or for the first time).

It’s all going to start going too fast again.

I’ll lose the gratitude and presence in the moment.

I’m afraid about the world right now.

…I’m glad you’re here.

I created a guided process for our Origin Empresses to help them create their own new normal based on the needs of their bodies, their families, their communities, their hearts, their souls, and the planet.

Today I’m sharing a piece of it with you.

Let’s not have this past 15 months go to waste, shall we? Let’s not get amnesia about everything we’ve learned.

Here are 4 questions to consider to re-emerge intentionally and create your own new normal:

1. What needs to be composted?

Waste and the stuff we no longer need make for incredibly fertile soil. Get clear on what you no longer want to take with you from before the pandemic and during the pandemic. Fears, relationships, ways of thinking, ways of being, projects, etc. Put it all down.

2. What do I want to hold onto?

Though this time has been one of tremendous loss and grief, there have been gifts. What have they been for you? Write out what you gained from the past 15 months that you want to make sure to carry with you.

3. What was my life like before?

Get clear on what parts of your pre-pandemic life you adored that you want to make sure to bring back in and what parts of your pre-pandemic life you’ve not missed at all and want to be sure to not unconsciously return to.

4. How can I set myself up to practically integrate these lessons?

Review your answers to the previous questions and then come up with some ways that you can set yourself up to keep what you want to keep and leave the rest. What boundaries might you need to put in place? How can you set up your calendar to support you? (Make sure you have the free Weekly Do Less Planning Ritual Guide to help you.) What other action steps do you need to take to ensure that you re-emerge intentionally?

These 4 questions can be asked about any major move from one chapter of your life to the next.

One of the things we tend to skip in our go-go, rush-rush, more-is-better culture is integration. 

But let’s remember to:

Let it not be wasted.

What we just went through was a really big deal. Let’s not take coming out of it lightly. We have an unprecedented opportunity to build a new world here. Let’s do it with our intentional re-emergence.


What are you leaving behind as you re-emerge? What are you carrying with you? What shifts are you making in your life as a result of the pandemic? Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it!


  • Thank you for your generosity, Kate!! I read you and resonate with much of your worldview and advice and it helps me and helps me help :))

    with love

  • Hi Kate,
    I absolutely adore your timely and accurate blog. I have desperately been holding on to the lessons learned over the past 15 months. I have no desire to do cannonballs’ in the ocean of life, as we knew it, pre-pandemic.

    In fact, the water feels like there are hungry sharks waiting in the murky waters below with the theme sound of Jaws playing in the background.

    I am not eager to get “back to normal” because quite frankly, our definition of normal was killing us with the go-go attitude. I am intentionally re-building what “normal” looks like for me and to intentionally not work as hard as I had been doing. The incremental new behaviors and life giving habits that I create now will serve me well.

    1. What needs to be composted?
    Be selfish with my time and prioritize my care FIRST.

    2. What do I want to hold onto?
    Meet with close friends for drinks/apps/meals again.

    3. What was my life like before?
    Limit travel for work and not chase the $$$, rather chase sanity and inner peace.

    4. How can I set myself up to practically integrate these lessons?
    Enlist accountability partners for specific habits that I want to keep such as long walks at least 3x/week.

    Thank you so much for expressing my feelings/fears so eloquently.

    p.s. Amanda Maney told me about you and I am so grateful.

    • Kate Northrup

      Grace your clarity here is wonderful! So glad you’re here and so glad this was a useful exercise for you!

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