Not a word we all wanted to hear again. Inevitable many say. Bound to happen others comment. Much needed some say. While some people accept it. Some people rebel against it. There are people that doubt it. And there are others that do not question it all. Bigger picture – we all know why this is happening. We all know the awful reality of the virus we are living with. We have all been trying to manage our lives the best we can. In the meantime – all around us – people are discussing lockdown. And the impact of it.
Ask yourself the following questions….
How do you feel about lockdown happening again?
What emotions does it bring up for you?
How does it impact on your day to day life?
What are you worried about?
Think about these questions. What the answers bring up for you and reflect on the key things that matter the most to you. How your feeling right now is important. It cannot be ignored. It matters. It cannot be avoided. Its there.
Now ask yourself these questions…
What did I learn from the last lockdown?
What worked well for me?
What raised my anxiety levels?
What causes me worry or stress?
When you evaluate what did not work last time and think about what didn’t go well for you. You can then start to think about the things that you want to do differently this time. You can start to plan how you are going to manage this lockdown. You can start to put things in place to make it easier for yourself. You can start to work on what it is that you need this time. You can put in place a plan that works for you.
Of course, it is not possible to control this situation – but it is possible to control the way that you respond to it.
Think about the last time we were locked down. And focus on the parts that did go well for you and did work. Think about the things that made you feel better and the things that made you feel calmer. Identify those things and make space for them going forward over the next month.
Here are some examples to consider –
If a lot of time spent online talking to friends/family didn’t work for you last time. Perhaps this time you need to make sure you arrange walks in your week with a friend or family member. Get outside and catch up face to face – rather than online.
If you found that you did not exercise last time and it pulled you down. Then put a plan in place to do some work outs this time. Plan a run, a bike ride, or meet up with another friend outside and do something together. It will make you feel better. Likewise if you went the other way and exercised excessively last time – then make a plan to limit the amount you do this time round.
If you found that you drank too much alcohol last time then make a positive commitment this time round – to not get drawn into that again. Focus on the difference between the weekend and the week. Plan days off alcohol. Work out a plan that suits you.
If last time around your eating was affected – in either direction. Then this time focus on keeping to a routine. Plan your shopping, plan your meals – eat regularly and take care of yourself. Make it fun if you can – cooking different things. Approach it differently and as calmly as you can. Of course if you are struggling with an eating disorder then make sure you continue with your therapy and your commitment to recovery during this time.
Fundamentally if you didn’t take care of yourself properly last time – then focus on self-care. Know when you need to rest – to stop and slow down. Take that bath if you need too. Watch that program. Read that book. Invest some time in you. You matter – and you will feel so much better if you take care of yourself.
Think about your routine last time – whether that was in relation to childcare, education, work, loved ones etc. Recognise the parts that you need to work on and do differently this time. Sit down calmly and think about your approach to this next lockdown. What is it that you need to do?? Do you need to create an office space? Do you need to think of a project to focus on? Do you need to think of some activities to do? Focus on what it is that you need right now. As soon as you identify what it is that you need. You will feel so much better.
Remember – you have got this.