Remembering what we need - things to lock in from lock-down
On the day when lockdown restrictions are reduced and we can start thinking and imagining about whatever our new normal may look like, I have found myself reflecting upon the unexpected wins from the situation and what might be useful to bear in mind as we think about going back into our day to day lives in a new way.
Its OK to not want to be socially active all the time
Its possible that you've enjoyed the rest and that it was made easier by no 'fear of missing out' on what others were doing, no guilt for letting people down or doing things just because you felt you had to. Its important to remember that feeling of, 'It's OK'. The only excuse we really need not to do something is that we don't want to and its important we listen to ourselves and make sure we are doing and getting exactly what we need - that includes enough social interaction and enough rest. Whatever is right for you.
Less commute might be a good thing - but how to I start and end my day
Maybe you have found extra time in your week and a new found ability to working from home. Now - working from home is a whole thing all in itself, some people love it and some people hate it. Every-bodies circumstance is different and some with families may find it hard to get any work done whilst others may find they are more productive with less distractions from colleagues. One thing that is certainly missing is the ritual of transition. For me, walking or driving home at the end of my working day often served a valuable purpose in processing and moving myself from work to home mode. Now that has to happen between by desk and my sofa. I have found smells and other rituals have been really helpful - certain incense and sprays at the beginning and end of my working days and the first cup of tea in the morning act as my book ends now between work and rest. Notice the little things you do to start and end and what you value in your new ways of working. Could working from home now be part of your working week? What works really well for you and what doesn't? There may well be things that you have started doing that play to your strengths and support your working patterns which could also be used when 'back to work' is considered.
Family units and communication
Some families have really thrived in this time, spending more time living and working together, in problem solving, home schooling and everything in between. Being physically around more to support each other and talk more (whether they liked it or not). Some have also found this more difficult. Wherever you are on the spectrum with this experience is totally valid, but there may be just glimmers of success where your teenagers have been more engaged, your siblings have worked together or behaviours have been noticeably improved or lessened or emotional conversations have been able to be had. These are our small wins.
New skills and hobbies
Have you started drawing, jigsaws, reading or just sitting in the garden more? some of us may have found that we have more downtime on our hands and have been using this for leisure activities we normally wouldn't be doing half as much of. Maybe you've taken the time to cook more, try a new style of crafting or working with paints you've never used before. These are still things we can continue with in our 'new normal' - its not one or the other its a balance of the two and rest and relaxation is important. Which brings us on tooooo.....
Skills in resting and mindfulness
To start with resting felt odd, maybe you actively avoided it for a while (or still are). I really believe resting is a skill in itself that has to be cultivated and nurture over time to be something that is able to be utilised well. Really switching off those emails and work phones. I don't know about you but my working pace has changed,and I am aware that I seem to have more self managed time to myself and this is something I would like to keep an element of running through my work and life. Maybe you've tried meditating, or breathing exercises - even a mindful walk from last weeks suggestions? Spent more (or less) time outside and noticed how that has effected you over time.
Resilience and adaptivity
Now you might have read the above and just be thinking "Nope, none of that applied to me, its been a chaotic disaster and there's absolutely no good to take away from this".
However it has felt and been for you until this point (and lets not mince our words here, this very well may not be quite over just yet!) Its REALLY important to acknowledge that you are doing and did a great job getting through this last 10 weeks. There's no doubt been challenges, frustrations and even upset at times. Things have been hard but you cannot deny that you have adapted and overcome all the challenges presented in the best way you could and that because of this your resilience is greater than it ever has been before.
All I am trying to say is, whatever your experience is was or has been so far there will inevitably be a mixture of good AND not so great things that have happened. Whats important is to be able to recognise the things that have been a real positive or even a small win for us with regards to our lives, our relationships and things we can take away and hopefully plant those seeds in our 'new normal' to support and foster growth in what we do.
What do you think? What are the things that you have really enjoyed or been noticing during lockdown? How are you planning on supporting these things moving forward? and what have you learnt about yourself in this process? What (if anything) do you think you have learnt? We'd love to hear from you on our Facebook Twitter or Instagram
Stay safe and be kind to each other