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Our COVID-19 Existence in the Quiet Corner: Adapting to a New Normal


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life beyond recognition. The new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling children, and social distancing measures are challenging for all of us.

Adapting to these lifestyle changes, while managing the fear of potentially contracting the virus have resulted in extreme stress for many. This pandemic has been isolating, stifling, and life-altering. We have experienced aspects of loss and grief: shock and denial, anger, depression and hopelessness.

The notions of acceptance of these changes may be a ways off. Yet one thing that we have begun to grasp is adaptation. The demand of this latest crisis has led us to tap into resourcefulness and adaptability that we may not have known we possessed all along.

In my practice as a child and adolescent psychologist, I have seen the daily struggles of children and families as they face this crisis. COVID-19 has provided the unique opportunity in my role as clinician to relate to my clients as we deal with this “crisis in common.” Yes, I am still the “expert”, but we now have a shared foundation for our collaboration. We are finding ways to adapt to the reality of this challenge as we work, journey, and learn together.

Here is some simple wisdom, thanks in large part to my client collaborators, I can share:

  • Slow down to mindfully engage in daily living activities. Try cooking together, enjoy family meals at the dinner table, or have game nights.
  • Take a family drive. Explore local areas perhaps you have never seen.
  • Collaborate on projects. Team up on crafts, music, or home improvement.
  • Help a neighbor. Bake, craft, build, brew, or stew something for someone in need.
  • Create a routine of outdoor activities. Go hiking or biking, do yoga, or try something new like letterboxing/geocaching.
  • Discover virtual creativity. Dance, scouting, public service, music, and other arts are all worth trying.
  • Participate in community-minded activities. Sewing masks, beautification projects, gestures of appreciation to first responders and other essential workers are some ways to show you care.
  • Stay in regular phone/video contact with friends and family.
  • Continue to honor important milestones. Celebrate holidays and events virtually.
  • Ensure that children have regular and meaningfully supportive contact with adult role models and trusted authority figures. Stay connected to coaches, instructors, and extended family members.

The key is that if we can retain some of these positive adaptive habits after all of this has resolved and we return to our new normal, we will emerge as stronger individuals, families, and as a Quiet Corner community.

Dr. Andre Bessette is a Clinical Psychologist and Supervisor in the Outpatient Behavioral Health Department at Day Kimball Healthcare. To learn more about behavioral health services at Day Kimball Healthcare, visit For more information on Day Kimball Healthcare’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019, visit

Areas of Related Interest

DKH Patient Services | Behavioral Health
DKH Responds to Coronavirus


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