Right now, all of our normality has been thrown up in the air. There is no set routine, no structure, no regular work patterns, no specific educational systems. Everything is so different, and consequently many people are feeling unsure, at times anxious and experiencing a loss of control.
We have been given many sets of rules and different sets of guidelines, and we have been asked to adhere to them. And so we are all doing our best to keep safe and healthy, but also to keep others safe and healthy. Stay at home, work from home, learn from home, social distancing, masks, no social life – and so it goes on. The list is endless – and we are all doing our best to keep to it every single day.
Right now, is not the time for any kind of judgement. Everyone we meet or know is facing a battle. Everyone is more stressed then usual and coping with many different factors. There are challenges everywhere. It is not easy for anyone. And as everyone finds their own way through this all – it is important that we remember that there is no right way of doing things.
By this I do not mean the rules or following the guidelines. I mean with the way that people cope. While some will exercise more, others will exercise less. While some will walk every day, others will remain indoors. Some will drink more alcohol, and some will detox. Some will start cooking more and some will develop unhealthy eating patterns. Some people will use it as a time to academically develop or learn. Some will take up new hobbies or interests. While others will watch box sets and films. Many will paint and decorate while others will follow social media more. There is not a right or wrong way of doing this. Lockdown does not have to be all about achievement and it also does not have to be all about not achieving. There is a balance. There is somewhere in the middle. It is important that we appreciate that – but it’s also important that we understand what that really means.
Many people swing from posting photos about the blissful walks and quality time with their family – to then feeling so low and emotional that they haven’t see friends and extended family for so long. Many go from being super proactive and communicating online with others – to then feeling very reclusive and not reaching out. Lots of people range from being super healthy to drinking and eating then they usually would. And this range can happen all within the space of a week.
If you think about it – this is like a roller coaster for all of us. There are ups, there are downs, there are highs and there are lows. And in all honesty the roller coaster keeps going around and around. We are unsure right now about when this will stop or when this will end. We are waiting, we are uneasy, and we are all being very patient in the process. These are difficult times. The challenges are real, and they are tough. During the process all we can do is be kind to ourselves and look after ourselves as best we can.
There is a whole box of self-care that we can throw at ourselves right now – something I often write about in my blogs. Think about what that means to you and start applying it. Give yourself the time and space that you need right now to be ok. Look after yourself. Focus on what it is that you need to do.
Just remember in the process that what works for you –doesn’t always work for other people. What you apply to yourself is not necessarily the best thing for anyone else. And while what you do to cope is right for you – for someone else it might be something totally different.
So slow down sometimes, press pause sometimes, take the pressure off at times, and remember above all – there is no right way to cope. There are things that help us all – but each one of us has very different needs. Remember to always show compassion – and to always suspend any judgement.
In a world where you can be anything – be kind.