#NEWNORMAL: Is This Psychologically Normal?



#NEWNORMAL: Is This Psychologically Normal?

“BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), mental health has been an aspect that practitioners need to attend to,” said Mr. Ruel Cajili, Southville College of Psychology Dean. The progressing crisis stipulates a permanent impact on our psychological state; an impact that healthcare professionals will further gauge. These experts and practitioners join forces to track the varying factors that will challenge their lifelong campaign to raise mental health as a fundamental requisite to overall wellness especially in times of global adversity, our battle against the COVID-19. Though, it’s the present moment that will be crucial to weighing triggers and effects with the “new normal” as they call it, setting a parallel view on our understanding of anxiety… “before” and “after” the pandemic is necessary. As the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence felt across the world, it is causing us to shift to the #NEWNORMAL to be able to adapt. Alongside this change are emerging issues such as stress, fear, anxiety, and depression. The talk of Professor Michael Jimenez thoroughly discussed how we manage and react to these situations unfolding quickly in our lives and the communities that we belong in,” shared facilitator Ms. Rea Celne Villa, RPSY | Southville Head of Athletics, Psychology Professor.

The mandate to stay at home left us with limited activities as opposed to the life we had outdoors. These days, the internet has become everybody’s best friend – all the more. Technology once proved its inevitably long-term value, apparently claiming to rule over the future of mankind and all systems. Yet again, this is an opportunity that psychologists embrace in response to the uprising mental health concerns addressing COVID-19. “People need to be aided regardless of the platform. At this time, it is only through online that we can reach out to people. In each new normal, advantages and disadvantages will be of great impact as one transitions, Mr. Cajili further stated. It is also a question of how people will reconnect with the old system while being acquainted with the presently new norm and how our well being will adjust to a completely new world when this long wait is finally over. 

The recently concluded webinar on #NewNormal featuring Professor Michael Jimenez (MAPSY, RPSY) highlighted the so-called “Mindset of Change” and how change and crisis are technically related. “Change is a transition, a state of disequilibrium. And as for crisis, it is situational, adventitious, and developmental. Both lead to a transition that is not a one-time event, but rather a process. And during this process, we will go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance,’’ Prof. Jimenez explained. Clearly, the speaker is challenging our ability to move forward embracing change and crisis and walk through the path of grief from the old to the new. He also addressed the fear that further triggers our anxiety and how we are dreaded by uncertainties. While masks serve as an armor against the virus itself, it’s equally important to identify what can protect us from such an emotionally alarming threat of this trying time and eventually become the bigger person ‘fear after fear’. The speaker concluded the discussion with a recall of the crises rooting from our childhood up to this day hence the current crisis as such, causing us panic and dismay is definitely not the first time. What lies in this #NEWNORMAL are simply “new challenges”, crisis after crisis, leading to constant transition. The emerging prediction on the ability of mankind to let go of what used to be normal depends on the weight of change that the crisis has brought us. And this mindset, as Prof. Jimenez proposed, will be our greatest challenge – psychologically. 

In this session, Southville’s College of Psychology, its alumni, faculty, and students virtually gathered to prepare for more challenging cases of mental health unfolding by gauging the past, present, and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Aside from this webinar, we are devotedly holding sessions which aim to help … I think this is a way of saying that we walk the talk. We apply and share what we have learned. We engage in social sharing of thoughts through digital platforms. Like change, our mission is constant as we consider ourselves frontliners in our own ways,” shared Mr. Cajili. 

The mandate to stay at home left us with limited activities to do but it will definitely not limit us from making the most out of the many opportunities we have in light of this challenge. And as to where are we headed amid this battle, who knows? Nevertheless, this move is just one of the many initiatives by the College of Psychology, encouraging communities to HEAL AS ONE as we all adapt to the #NEWNORMAL


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