We’re probably experiencing a lot more stress than ever before. Having kids at home, little movement and so much uncertainty can really put strain on our mental health. We might feel unsure about how to navigate exiting this lockdown.
After three months of lockdown, we’re probably experiencing a lot more stress than ever before. Having kids at home, little movement and so much uncertainty can really put a strain on our mental health. We might feel unsure about how to navigate exiting this lockdown. You might feel the pressure to go back to how things used to be. You might feel deep uncertainty.
1. Acknowledge that things might not ever be the same
It’s ok to grieve how it used to be. It’s ok to miss a certain lifestyle. But after the grieving process, how might we open up to stay curious about how things are now? How might we let go of the image of how they used to be? “What used to be” had a certain value. How can you recreate that value by changing the form? For example, let’s say you loved working from a different coffee shop every day. How might you create the cozy feeling and freshness of that within your own environment?
2. Don’t rush back into your previous lifestyle
This lockdown was not simply a vacation that you took. Together, we have gone through collective trauma and change. Don’t try to rush back into your old way of being. You might not have the resources and energy to sustain the (maybe) hectic ways you used to have. Be gentle with yourself and very, very patient.
3. Keep some of your old habits
Notice what has positively changed in your habits and try to keep that. If you discovered cooking, or have a new routine, or have learned to appreciate your home more, keep that as you transition more into your new lifestyle. Things need not stay the same.
4. Keep (or start!) moving
Now that our schedules are getting hectic again, we might miss out on one of the most important ways to keep ourselves healthy and free of stress: exercise. Prioritise exercise in any forms – walking, jogging, stretching, yoga. Find what feels good for you and get moving 🙂
5. Stay low on social interaction
You might feel like all of sudden you are obligated to see all your friends all over again and to make up for the time when you didn’t really see each other. But truth be told, a sudden transition to catching up with all of our friends might feel daunting. Keep in mind you have no social obligation – see those people you truly in your heart feel like seeing. And if you want to prolong social distancing, that is also more than fine.
6. Raise your vibration
Keeping your vibration high by laughing and cultivating gratitude for small things puts you in a much better place than worrying constantly. While keeping yourself in high vibration, you radiate and have enough energy to deal with serious issues.
7. Make a list of what is important to you
As you transition back to the busy life, you might start to feel overwhelmed by things that don’t really matter. Ideally, this lockdown has given you a chance to reflect on what is important to you. Keep that in mind and prioritize it in your schedule. Since there are no rules of how we are supposed to react, find what works for you and keep that in mind.
8. Make friends with uncertainty
It’s ok to know nothing right now. At this moment I’m only prompting you to get clarity on what is important to you and what you can control. Don’t expect clarity on things that don’t depend on you. One of the most beautiful principles from Sattva Yoga in India is to cultivate every moment, and life will take care of itself. By showing up fully and with intention, all pieces off the puzzle will settle together. Life will take care of itself. Trust that you are taken care of at all times.
9. Make a life vision – but let go of the “how”.
Yes, we’re allowed to have a vision for the future! Nothing is ever certain, but that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in survival mode. Vision and intention are crucial when building a life. Even when you feel like you’re in survival mode, we still need to keep a strong vision and intention. At the same time, let go of control about HOW you will be getting there. Complete this statement in your head: “My life vision is….; and I know I’m there when I feel….”. Measure success by how you FEEL. You can imagine specific practical things, too, but let go of them and acknowledge that when you’re happy it might not exactly look like you imagined.
I hope these suggestions help you rewrite the story of how you are experiencing these times. The story you tell yourself, the story you tell others, the story you will be telling in 10 years from now and to your grandkids. Make it meaningful!