Over the last few months I think we have all been collectively and gradually stretching out of lockdown life- like a bear coming out of hibernation. Everything is falling into a ‘first time since the pandemic’ tick box … first coffee shop, bar, pub, restaurant, hotel, cinema, theatre etc. etc. While these final stages of lockdown and the end of social restrictions are so hoped for and will be so welcomed (fingers crossed!), it can serve to increase anxiety with the pressure to get back to ‘normal’ life.
What does ‘normal’ life look like now?
Many, including myself have found happiness, calm, peace and strength with a simpler and slower pace of life. There is a slight balancing act to embark on as we move out of lockdown and as the final stages of social restrictions are lifted …
On one hand we are to reignite social interactions, go back to our physical workplaces (if you are still working from home), go out and support local businesses and restaurants, make dates, visit friends and family, start booking and thinking about holidays … a lot of exciting and happy things await us.
But, on the other hand- we have to be mindful of the anxiety and social pressure that lockdown/social restrictions easing can place on our shoulders. It is the time to start ‘doing’ again, but we also need to protect some of the newfound elements of our lives that have become blessings.
With this is mind, I thought it would be nice to share some thoughts on how to embark on your ‘new normal’ whilst being kind and patient with yourself.
Go at your own pace
‘embrace the pace of your own journey’ unknown
It is okay to say no! Having more time at home – with yourself or your immediate family may have been a huge positive for you during the pandemic. The pressure to be out and about, and accepting every invite that comes your way over the next few months may feel like a lot. Slow down, you don’t have to say yes… balance your time so you get a bit of everything- and allow yourself this, without guilt.
Live in the present
‘mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just have to remember to do it’ Sharon Saltzberg
Live in the present and try to centre yourself on today. Try not to worry about tomorrow and things too far ahead. Things can and will change. Focus on where we are right now and taking one step at a time. Mindfulness and living with presence of mind is a skill and one worth practising. It is a cliché, but each day is a gift, and if you allow yourself to truly focus on each day in the present, it will become more manageable and bring you a lot more peace and joy.
Focus on your self-care
‘rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel’ Eleanor Brown
We all have people, places, activities and things that bring us joy. Now is the time to really lean into them. Carve out some time every day to do something that nourishes your soul. Self-care should be an essential part of your every day. It doesn’t need to be anything grand, or time consuming. Anything that brings you a moment of calm and peace – make the time for you.
Allow yourself to create a ‘new normal’
‘if parts of lockdown life were an improvement on your ‘normal’ life, it’s okay to admit that to yourself (and others). It may be difficult to tear up the old and start again completely, but look for the small ways you can start to design your life to look more like the one you really want now. Give yourself permission to start a new journey if that’s what your heart is seeking. You deserve to live a life that makes you happy’. Mellow Doodles
I saw this quote on @mellowdoodles Instagram back in March and I related to it so much. For many of us, there have been incredible positives to come out of lockdown. You do not have to give up the elements of your life that you enjoy. You may have to adapt and move more out of your comfort zone, but remember you are in control and you can design your journey and protect your energy as you wish. Feel empowered to keep your new habits, hobbies and ways of living as we move forward into the next phase of our lives.
Be kind to yourself
‘be careful how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening’ Lisa M Hayes
Life has changed and so have you. Over the next few months, try not to put pressure on yourself. Be patient, and give yourself permission to move at your own pace with love and understanding. The way you speak to yourself matters and it is important to be on your own side. There is so much to be grateful for, and excited. Move at your pace and enjoy every day.
You have got this!