Proceed with Caution? How to Navigate the Easing of LockdownJun 14, 2021
How are you? I hope you are okay.
So many people I have been talking to are feeling apprehensive about the easing of lockdown and emerging back into the world. And I know how they feel.
- Reach out to your friends and family and talk about what you really missed during lockdown. Your support network is there for you, and you will be helping each other.
- Name how you are feeling and seek professional guidance if you need it. And commend yourself for taking steps to protect your health, mental and physical (it’s all just health)
- Physical exercise is another excellent way to ‘shake out’ stress.
- Think about the one or two things that really helped during lockdown that you’d like to continue and prioritise them as part of your current routine. E.g., a daily meditation, exercise you enjoy, cooking nourishing food.
- Commitment crop. Before you put one more thing on your To Do list, cross two things off. Then add just one. Ditch the non-vital things from your day before you start adding more.
- Look back and learn. Take the lessons from such a challenging time to build new habits to support yourself. This post traumatic growth approach helps to build resilience and nurture a growth mindset.
- Give yourself a ‘digital detox’ if being online is exacerbating your low mood. Trust me, what you see online is often quite different from reality.
- “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Shift your focus back to what you do have in your life; make a list and practice gratitude for all the good things.
- Name how you are feeling – talk to friends, family, or professional support if necessary.
- Set a goal for 3 months’ time and work out your mini goals to help you achieve this.
- Give yourself time to take stock and make sure you don’t ignore the sadness. This could be a sign that you need to acknowledge all that has happened over the past year.
- Even if you do not feel like you need to think too much about it right now, please do so at some point. Do not store the emotional stress in your body as it may manifest itself as physical symptoms later.
I Was Very Lonely in Lockdown but I Feel Nervous Mixing with Others Again
- Do not be pressured and do not beat yourself up if you want to take your time.
- Accept the ups and downs. Some days you may feel like doing something, while other days you just want to stay home. Whatever you are feeling at any given time is perfectly okay. Happy or sad, energised or exhausted, and everything in between, it is ALL normal. And appropriate.
- Please be kind to yourself. Allowing your feelings to just be, without self-criticism or judgement.
I know that being outside in nature is a massive contributor to my wellbeing. And, as I am working from home more than ever, having very loving but clear boundaries between work and homelife is key for me.
Having said that, I have the ‘busyness pattern’ too. I am really good at being busy! I know it does not add to my happiness, so I try to make sure I am conscious of managing it. (NB - We’ll be talking more about the ‘busyness crisis’ over the coming months.)
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