I thought about writing a blog around this topic the other day when I was painting my nails at 10:30 on a Friday morning, right after going for a 10Km run and knowing that my next task for the day was to bake a chocolate cake. How is that a normal Friday morning? It is also pretty reassuring to know that if you are feeling anxious at the thought of life after lockdown, you are NOT alone. Almost every person I have spoken to over the last few weeks feels some form of this.
I will be the first to admit that my lockdown hasn’t been a ‘lazy’ one, in fact I have aimed to stay as busy as possible to avoid going crazy (which seemed to work for me) BUT in saying that, not much of my daily activities were a necessity that caused any stress if I went to sleep without doing them. I am a person who enjoys lists and in my pre-lockdown state, I would often fall asleep crossing things off in my head while making a new list for tomorrow. After not doing this for nearly 13 weeks, the thought of starting it again is definitely causing some form of anxiety.
Anxiety has not always been a word that I would personally use to explain how I am feeling. As a girl who has a lot of friends that do suffer with anxiety I most certainly know that I am lucky to not feel it very often, but when I start to think about the next few weeks and months of going back to ‘normal’, anxiety is 110% present.
In hoping that at least one person who reads this will feel like they are not alone in feeling this way, here I am, being as honest and vulnerable as I can be while giving my two-cents in how I plan on ‘re-adjusting’. I think I am going to tackle it the same way I tackled lockdown - one day at a time WHILE appreciating the little things (because well, they're usually not that little).
When it comes to the ‘little things’ I have enjoyed so many during lockdown. The feeling of the morning sun, listening to the birds chirping, sitting outside and seeing how quickly the sun goes down, learning new skills, days of not moving from the couch, hearing people in the streets from 6-9am, being on the road instead of in a car, being able to let my nails dry without a chip because I don’t have to do things straight away, baking for no reason, having cake for dinner, facetiming friends and speaking more often, enjoying fresh sheets and clean pjs, face masks and hair masks. I hope these small things become a frequent part of the new normal. Although things will change, like the 6-9 exercise time, I hope that people don’t forget how great it is to run, to move, to be outside. I don’t want to ever stop loving the small things.
We are going to need to become used to outside stimulation and quite frankly, what might initially feel like sensory overload (featuring face masks). After living for weeks at a slow pace, enjoying quality family time and quality alone time - something that for most of us in our formerly packed lifestyles was a rarity – I think that being kind, and patient with ourselves and those around us is key as we learn to adjust again. Gradually becoming familiarized to this by slowly going back to work, and to life, while not expecting too much of yourself too soon is so important.
So if you are one of those people that are worrying already that you’re not going to be able to go back to how things were before or maybe you are like me and you are worried that things ARE going to go back to normal, then remember to be gentle and kind with yourself and to show yourself some self-compassion. Understand that it’s going to take some time to readjust to life following lockdown just as it took time to adjust to lockdown and that doing this in a slow, day by day way might be what you need. Just like a phased return to work might be what you’re forced to do, maybe it might be just what you need in your personal life too. Stay safe, wear your mask and take it one day at a time.
Love, Courts xx
Matthew 13:32 -
"and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."