Crafting a New Normal

5 Ways to Craft Your New Normal & Live Well

family picnic connecting during quarantine outdoors patterned blanket steel and plank

 How are you holding up? That's the phrase I hear over and over. While there is no cure-all or secret to managing grief or disappointment, I can tell you what has worked for me. . . 

Searching for ways to regain control and connection in various aspects of my life.

This has included creating my environment (my home) with intention, making sure our employees are paid and our businesses can survive, connecting with others throughout our community, and yes, on days lacking motivation, taking the time to just BE.

Kelley Bishop steel and plank home design tips sanctuary joy peace reading chair minimal furniture  minimal furniture side table steel and plank plant book soothing peaceful home decor

Curled up with a good book in my happy place.

1. Create a Sanctuary at Home

While I am working from home (or at home trying to work), I realize how important it is to have a space to work. I am currently renovating my home which has grinded to a halt and my home office is currently the space that stores materials… paint, tools, hardware, a door, a window… stuff.

But luckily, what we did finish before the shutdown was our kitchen, and it is my sanctuary right now. I am sitting at my island as I type this. The sun is coming in between the new leaves and it is peaceful. The kids sleep in, because why not? And I spend these precious hours to myself.

We all need to find a space that brings us peace. Fittingly enough, my last post was about creating serenity at home, and I think it’s even more timely right now. 

kelley bishop steel and plank new kitchen design athens ga minimalist black framed windows natural light

Go where you feel inspired, even if that's the kitchen counter with sunlight streaming through the windows. (photo: Heather Wall)

2. Embrace New Ways to Connect

If there’s anything we’re learning right now, it’s how deeply ingrained our desire to connect with others is. We are social creatures, not made to stay at home in isolation. It is through connection that life becomes brighter, more full, and more peaceful. 

Though our options are limited, I make an attempt to connect with those I love every day. A socially distanced walk or bike ride with a friend, a picnic in our yard, card games with my family, a Zoom chat with my book club… it is with connection that we can get through these times. (If you would like to connect with me, I would love to hear from you.)

steel and plank minimal comfortable furniture family connection mother son playing cards family mother children steel and plank founder design for connection

Card games and connection with my son, plus family walks in the afternoons.

 friends and relatives connecting on zoom during quarantine athens ga happy home

Embracing Zoom. In a way, it is fortunate that we are experiencing these restrictions in this century, when technology affords us so many alternative ways to connect. 

3. Give Yourself the Space to Just BE.

During times like these, it is almost easier to feel the pressure of being high-functioning, always-positive versions of ourselves than to give ourselves space to be human. Which is why I want to invite you to give yourself whatever it is that you need: permission to feel, space to connect with yourself, and time to just BE. 

Some days, I’ll spend all day cooking stews, casseroles, or marinating fish to grill. Other days, we look to see what quick options are in the freezer. Some days, I am busy decluttering, getting rid of all of the unnecessary items. Other days, I just sit and read.

I can look at both of these — the busy and the still — without judgment. These are choices I am making, and making choices (even the choice to do nothing) gives us back our power.   

connection during quarantine mother daughter kitchen counter making meals steel and plank

Cooking with my daughter has become a new and delightful part of my life. These are moments and memories I am so thankful for. 

 4. Enjoy the Outdoors

Spending time outdoors is both refreshing and filled with opportunities for perspective, healing, and reflection. As we inhale fresh air and watch animals going about their normal lives, we have an opportunity to feel grounded and connected to something bigger.

Whether you have a trail near your home or an outdoor living space you call your own, do your best to get out there, move your limbs, and relax in nature’s soothing presence.

Family picnics are the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors and connect. 

5. Start a Gratitude Journal or Practice

On the topic of connecting with yourself, one of my favorite practices is expressing gratitude. Taking even a few minutes each day to either write or reflect on what is going right helps shift my perspective throughout the rest of the day. 

I feel lighter. Less burdened. More mentally at peace. Try it for a few days and I think you’ll find that you feel lighter too.

gratitude journal daily practice fresh berries minimal dishwater nature

Next month, I will be sharing some tips for creating outdoor spaces, gardens, and gatherings. (Because, yes, I am confident we will be allowed to gather again someday soon!) 

You can also subscribe to our newsletter below to stay up to date on new items, upcoming gatherings, and tips for creating a home designed for connection.

Until then, stay well my friends.



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  • Loved this! Thank you for sharing.


    • Laura D. Katz
  • Great email. Thanks. Your kitchen is gorgeous. What did you make the countertops from?

    • Nina Santus
  • Hi Kelley,
    I really loved this post and the vulnerability it took to share.
    Take care,

    • stephanie andrews