Finding Your New Normal

This post, part of our special series on the Coronavirus outbreak, was written by Laura Gover, M.P.H. and BGCA Federal Grants Director.

It’s the start of a new week, and while we all wish this meant the return to our normal way of life, for most it still means getting comfortable with a new way of working and living.  This may be your second or third week of unusual working, and for others this may be your first.  Regardless, developing a routine will help you maintain some sense of normalness in such an un-normal time.  

Think wayyy back to three weeks ago, when things seemed more business as usual and you felt comfortable with your day-to-day routine.  We spent most of our day focusing on our work, our physical and mental health, and time with family and friends.   Keeping these critical parts of our routine going are essential to moving forward during this time.  Whether it’s continuing on as you had before or building a new normal, developing and maintaining a routine is critical to making the most of this unfamiliar time and can help you find peace and purpose. 

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Importance of a Schedule

We know Clubs at the best of times are busy and chaotic places and the routines you’ve developed are the only thing that allow each day to run smoothly.  You know exactly how long it takes you to write the daily programming schedule before the kids come running in the front door, or how long your teens will be in tutoring before they make it to snack time.  Much like the schedule you keep every day in your Club, it’s important to have a similar plan for your day now based on what your priorities and responsibilities look like. Building out a schedule, like one below for each day, or even for a full week, can help you stay on track, feel accomplished, and ensure you’re getting in everything you need to feel good.


A new way to work

For some, working remote might be part of their normal routine, but for Club staff who are used to staying busy, running around either behind the scenes or with the kids, you might be struggling with how to feel productive during this time.  If your Club is leading virtual programming, perhaps you’re still spending time engaging with Club youth remotely.  And you might still find that you’re spending time planning daily programming before running SMART Moves or Money Matters via an online webcam or through MyFuture. If you’re interested in some additional ideas for running virtual programming, BGCA has continually updated resources over at

If you find that you’re currently working in a kid-free environment, consider spending this time focusing on yourself by taking advantage of professional development and training. Remember seeing an email or flyer for a training opportunity that seemed interesting, but also knowing that you wouldn’t have time to fit it in before making it to the Club to great kids as they arrive from school?  Well now is the time to focus on YOU!

BGCA has recently launched a schedule of virtual professional development opportunities for Club staff to build upon existing skills. Check out the current schedule here, and learn more about our other distance training courses at

Take time for yourself

Don’t forget that your routines don’t apply only to your workday.   Take time each day to focus on reinforcing good habits that were already important to you.  This might mean keeping up with the podcast you usually listen to on your daily commute into work, Facetiming or leading a virtual game night with family or friends you normally get together with, and finally digging into that book that been collecting dust on your bookshelf.  If you are feeling anxious, be sure to read our posts from last week about managing stress.

We’re all adjusting to this new way of working, living, and remembering our purpose.  Staying connected with friends, co-workers, and family and following a routine can help us all feel valuable and accomplished during these times.

If you find yourself or someone you know in need of additional support during this difficult time contact:

  • Comprehensive resource database that connects you to specialists in your area to find the services and support for your specific needs
  • SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline1-800-985-5990: 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster
  • Crisis Text Linetext “club” to 741741: 24/7, 365 day-a-year, national text line dedicated to providing immediate crisis text support for people who are experiencing emotional distress
  • Mental Health America: Find services and support in your area, learn about more about mental health and wellness on their website.

Check back in with the ClubX Blog often for more ideas and resources on how to maintain your mental and emotional well-being during this challenging time.  Stay safe.  Wash your hands.  Take care of yourself.  We are in this together! 

Get the latest updates from BGCA at, find programming ideas at, like the BGCA Youth Development on Facebook for YD updates including video from Sarah, and join the brand new BGCA Youth Development Community also on Facebook to connect with other Club staff on programming through coronavirus.

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