21 Apr Life After Lockdown…
I went out for lunch at the weekend to a restaurant that had outdoor dining space. I had been looking forward to it enormously, the chance to do something ‘normal’ again as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, just going for a meal with two family members.
The weather was kind – a lovely, sunny afternoon – and the food was good. I sat in the sunshine and looked around me, waiting for the much-anticipated feeling of wellbeing to wash over me. But it didn’t come. Instead, I felt slightly edgy. Seeing even socially-distanced groups around me was surprisingly uncomfortable (especially as I’m normally a dedicated ‘people watcher’). I found myself running risk assessments in my head. I never expected to feel that way, yet I did.
It dawned on me that I have grown too accustomed to remaining at home, where it feels safe, and my world has shrunk accordingly. This also made me realise that, just as we all had to make huge adjustments going into lockdown, we are having to do the same thing as we come out of it.
I most definitely want to expand my horizons again. For me, this means challenging myself a little more every day, going outside my comfort zone by degrees until I’m fully back in the swing of things. It’s also helpful to make a habit of looking for the positive elements in our day, whatever we’re doing and wherever we are. This helps to train our brain so that finding the good stuff starts to happen automatically, which in turn lifts our mood and builds resilience so that we’re better able to cope with daily life.
So if you’re feeling a little anxious or overwhelmed at the idea of emerging from lockdown, then be kind to yourself. Go at your own pace but try to push yourself out of your comfort zone a little more each day. Perhaps have a goal in mind – something you’d really like to do – and work towards it. And take note of the good things around you on the way.