How to get over the lockdown hump
Wow that was a super-slump!
Now, I feel like I’m finally out the other side but there’s this guilt that has set in. Do you know the one? The feeling that you wasted time, like you weren't being #grateful enough for the things you have going for you in life.
I have a lot to be grateful for.. I'm gonna put it out there that I know it and I am SERIOUSLY #Grateful !!!!
Really though, should I not have felt like that? What’s going on here is so much bigger than any of us can picture. The world as we know it has crumbled and surely we deserve to take some of this time to rest and recuperate, even if we didn't 'plan' a rest and instead the rest found us!
MY FIRST QUESTION is
'At what point do we have to kick our own butts and get ourselves back into gear?'
THE ANSWER to this is
...different for everyone.
There are those who have still been working every hour of the day during this, don’t forget. Not everyone is enjoying or getting bored with Netflix and chill! (I’ll come back to you guys later in this post!)
First I want to talk about the ‘busy but non essential’ folk; These are the people who are looking at others furloughed around them and feeling a bit jealous. They're thinking how can I still be in the same place as I was 2 months ago, still fighting the same battle?
I’m not talking about the life-savers here, the NHS workers who are finally getting their (well-deserved) praise and putting themselves on the line every day, the teachers still educating and caring for our keyworker’s children, or the rubbish collection persons (now that feels like a risky job to me) and others providing services we’d find it very uncomfortable to live without. Thank you to you guys and please contact us when this is done to get discount on TruthPie's wellbeing services as a small gesture of my appreciation.
I’m talking about the private workers and self employed and those still working 24hrs a day to save their businesses- small, medium, large- because they’re all impacted and most are struggling.
These managers and HR departments, owners and workers are all looking at a year of total uncertainty and non-stop ‘updates’. The overwhelm almost certainly will cause burn out for many of them at some point. An 'unplanned rest' will find them.
If this is you and you want to avoid the burn out, self care shouldn’t be something you decide is only for those with time. I firmly believe you must MAKE time even on days you don't have it, as this will almost certainly make your work time more productive and be much more beneficial to your overall longevity. Push yourself to take short yoga class, meditation or even simply to spend a good quality hour with your family or connecting to nature- away from screens of connection to the ‘outside world’. The real 'outside world' is made up of trees and streets, sky and animals, air and weather... go and see it for a little while and your body and brain will thank you.
Next is a quick shout to my fellow parents, guardians and Carers out there who have added pressures in lockdown. You guys are doing a great job and any time you ‘mess up’ just know so many others are living the reality of home schooling or full time parenting too- and it’s hard. I'm lucky enough to not be there just yet but some days it takes all my might to not put my son in front of #peppapig for the entire day, just so i can get stuff done!!
And it’s ok to not love 'parenting' all of the time. It doesn't mean you're not grateful for that awesome little person who turns your house upside down within 30 minutes of waking up every day! Just as long as your kids know you’re trying, your child will definitely know how much you love them.
I'm not going to tell you to fit in 20 more things into your day (go you miracle parents who manage it). Instead I'm going to say, 'Go ahead and enjoy your treat wine or chocolate bar' but maybe next time you venture into a shop, also add some healthy snacks in there too- Olives, hummus, pickled beetroot if that tickles your fancy- I know it’s a hard call to make 100% of the time but your energy levels will thank you for it!
Now, some of you are suffering with loss; unexpected and before the time of your loved one. This isn’t something I want to casually approach on here, as the subject definitely deserves care and attention but if I can offer any advice, it would be to rest first; starting with the body, which then may make it easier to calm your mind.
Rest doesn’t have to be sleep, especially if that’s where you’re struggling right now- rest can be creating art, talking or writing to those who make you feel warmer. It can be putting some frankincense into a diffuser and closing your eyes for 30minutes while you play a YouTube video on visualising release. Likewise, if you're finding it harder each day to get out of bed, choosing one of these things to do may help to give you that purpose and a small spark of energy to approach the next part of your day.
Once you’ve managed to begin finding rest in your days, you can start taking steps to process further; through counselling, creating memory books, sharing stories. There really is so much out there and some will feel good for you whilst others won't be your thing. There is wonderful guidance out there and many who can help you to find your way to feeling more like you. If you'd like us to put you in touch with anyone particularly please do send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time to come back to you guys on your Netflix and chill binge! If you've made it this far through my conversation, you may already be starting to see why you could feel better about your position in the world. Even if you have financial struggles, you probably have been able to enjoy the simplicity of time and for now you may have been lucky enough to not have loved ones in difficult positions with their health. But that doesn’t mean your feelings of ‘the slump’ are invalid and maybe you too could use some advice on getting back up and at 'em. So, what about following some of the other TruthPie blog posts and seeing if any classes or activities appeal to you? Try a class, if you're not classed-out (!) - It can be art or science based- it doesn’t have to be yoga or push ups!
Next might be writing your ‘gratitude list’ of things that have naturally come out of lockdown. Perhaps you needed a rest and some ‘fun’ to get you ready for your next steps. Then finding an idea of what you’d like to get out of the remainder of this time. Your goal doesn’t have to be a huge career advancement by the way. What about finishing a book you've been planning to read or just aiming for a satisfying structure to your day, whatever that means to you?
'Team Netflix'- don't forget to let yourself off for taking time out or getting a bit ‘stuck’- the time has passed and you still have the future to make the most of.
Now, the #truth? None of these pieces of advice is going to change the fact that you’ve felt a little on the dark side for a little while but choosing one of them and taking control of your own journey can be the step you need to make that little choice life changing.
You deserve to be enjoying this day.
This piece was written by Joanna Rennie for her personal blog and is not a reflection of the opinion of individual professionals at TruthPie.
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