With lockdown restrictions slowly being lifted, I've been thinking about all the things I've been enjoying recently, and I have realised there are far more benefits to lockdown than I would have thought possible.
Ten years ago, when I was still struggling with my anxiety, I would not have been able to embrace this period of uncertainty. Nowadays, I consider myself to be far more resilient, and I make a conscious effort to see the positive in every situation I find myself in. My attitude to lockdown has been a reminder of how far I have come on my journey.
Lockdown has been a fantastic opportunity to spend additional time with my teenage daughter. She is great fun to be around and she teaches me something new every day. She has taken everything in her stride throughout lockdown, she is well balanced and kind, and I am very proud of her. I realise I should also be proud of myself too because I have raised her singlehandedly since she was two years old, while working full time and starting my own business.
I am grateful to be able to work and continue doing the job that I love, all be it without the face to face contact. I have been lucky to be working with several large corporate companies recently, and it is great to be able to serve many people at once, but I have also missed my private Walk and Talk coaching sessions too. I appreciate how lucky I am that my "office" is often the beautiful Essex countryside, and I can not imagine a better career than the one I have!!
I consider exercise to be vital for my mental wellbeing and sanity. I have loved getting out on my bike but it is just not the same without the laughs and support from my wonderful group of cycling buddies. We have not known each other all that long, but I am proud to be part of such a supportive group of gals, and I have missed you all …. plus I always get lost when I'm riding solo!
My daughter and I have been taking our dog Bailey for walks closer to home, instead of driving to a park. I had no idea there were so many fields nearby, and we have found streams and woods we didn't know existed. We have also enjoyed spending lazy afternoons kayaking along the nearby river. I realise how lucky I am to live where I do.
I love to learn. I have learnt how to paddleboard and make bread, but not at the same time! I found both to be incredibly relaxing, and a great way to calm my busy mind. Also, having tasted how good homegrown fruit and veg are, I will make sure we grow our own every year from now on. I have loved seeing the seeds grown as much as I have loved eating everything. I never prioritised learning to cook before, but I have been practising recently. I have definitely improved because the smoke alarm hasn't gone off in weeks now!
I know many of us have enjoyed the extra time we have had with family, and we have embraced working from home and the slower pace of life. This is leading to some of us feeling anxious about coming out the other side of lockdown. So, if this sounds like you, remind yourself:-
- You are not alone, and we are all in this together still. It is easy to think you are the only person struggling because you can not see everyone else's anxious thoughts, but anxiety is very common, and we all experience it sometimes.
- Everyone is trying to adjust, so the transition to your new normal will not happen overnight but will be fine-tuned over several days or longer. This will give you time to adjust too.
- It is understandable if your old routines have changed while we were in lockdown. What can you do in advance to plan for your new routine?
If anxiety is something you or your loved ones struggle with regularly, or if you are worrying so much that it is impacting on other areas of your life, then please get in touch to discuss how I can help you.