Dealing with Disruption: Strategies for Thriving in the New Normal

These resources were developed as part of our Community Connection Series to help the community in response to COVID-19.

Recent events have left many feeling at a loss. How can you move forward? How do you feel as though you can put your life back together? Feelings of anxiety and fear for yourself, loved ones, and about the future. These large questions and fears are presented to us daily.

Everyone has felt an upheaval in their lives due to the health crisis and some form of anxiety that follows this disruption. Whether it be unemployment, moving, or schools closing down there is no denying you have dealt with a shift in your life. Even if you have not been directly influenced by COVID-19, the loved ones and relatives in our lives have felt the disorientation of this pandemic.

Using meditation, coping mechanisms, and establishing new routines, we can manage our anxieties and settle some of the turbulence in our lives. Below are some useful tips to lessen anxiety and help find some sense of normalcy during this time.

Tips (Download the PDF).

Here are some helpful practices to use alongside our 3-minute mindful meditations, 5 anxiety management tips, and nourish to flourish worksheet:


  • Practice breathing exercises. Whether you are at work, at home, traveling, or even in bed, deep breathing exercises can be perofrmed anywhere. Just one minute of deep breathing can allow you to think more clearly and find a sense of peace.
  • Walk outside while using social distancing precautions. Even if you are unable to leave the house you can open windows to get fresh air and walk around the house for exercise.
  • Think before you react. Take the time and space for yourself to breathe and think before acting.

  • Focus on what you can control and regulate your emotions on what is out of your control. Reflect on your emotions and where they are coming from and allow yourself to feel them.
  • Be with yourself. If you find free time, realize that not every moment has to be productive in a way that can be commodified. Be forgiving and gentle with yourself during these times.
  • Walking meditations. Let yourself get swept up in your physical surroundings during walks rather than thinking of current events. Look for animals and new plant growth even if you are in the city.


  • Establish a new routine. Add new exercises and activities like journaling or taking online classes to your day to day.
  • Set aside time to video call or phone loved ones. Find activities to do together even while you are apart, create music together, read together, create art, and study together.
  • Find structure through the care of your pets and even creating a healthier schedule for yourself. After feeding your pets breakfast, make yourself breakfast as well, even if it is a meal you usually skip.
  • Connect not only with others, but extend to be gentle with yourself as you are with others. Think of yourself as a flower, you need sunlight, food and water to grow, take care of your essential needs to be mentally healthy.
  • Intentionally check in with friends and family in ways that you never have before. View this disruption as opening up new spaces for connection. Find solace and camaraderie even if you are far from loved ones through group chats and social media.

News and Social Media

  • Take breaks from the news. The news can be a constant source of anxiety and consuming our thoughts. Social media can also have this influence so make sure to use it sparingly and in ways that uplift you.
  • Mute the news instead of reading it. Mute certain keywords and hashtags like #coronavirus on our social media accounts, and unfollow/mute/block any accounts that are inundating your feed with stressful images and information.
  • Start and end your day on a positive note. Instead of watching the news during these times, contact loved ones or doing something fun and productive.


  • Some browsers, like Chrome, provide extensions that allows you and your friends to watch Netflix together with a chatbox on the side.
  • If you have access to Amazon Prime or YouTube, you can stream yoga and meditation videos.
  • Akin’s Army has live streaming gym sessions.

A Message from The Jewish Board

If you live in the New York metropolitan area and need help coping with stress in times of crisis, we can help. Call us at 1.844.ONE.CALL to speak with an intake specialist.

Keep Engaged

Visit our events calendar to see what additional Community Connections are coming up. We also have the following opportunities for those interested in supporting New Yorkers during this time of crisis:

Join HelpCorps

The Jewish Board HelpCorps is a team of paid, temporary full-time and part-time staff to help us serve New York’s most vulnerable during this time of crisis. No specialized skills or training are required to apply — only a passion for helping others. Learn more.

Volunteer Remotely

During this time of crisis, there are many ways that we can help the people we serve – children in the foster care system, children and adults with mental illness, and people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more.

Support our Coronavirus Relief Fund

Help us safeguard New York City’s safety net as we continue to provide services to our most vulnerable populations in a time of crisis. Proceeds will go towards providing relief for programs who are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. You can also help spread the word about our fundraiser by creating your own fundraising page or team.