As I write this we have done 35 days in lockdown, or five weeks.
How are you?
How are you managing?
What is life like for you now?
I am asking as these are the things that we need to start to be aware of and to consider. Why? Hopefully, and we are all hopeful, the lockdown will soon start to be lifted and life can start to go back to ‘normal’. But what is ‘normal’ and do you really want to go back to that?
Each and every one of us has had a different experience during this time. For many life changed unimaginably overnight – who would have thought you would not go to school or to work?
For many, life has shifted – being able to continue working, but either from home or as one of the key workers.
For many, life has not changed much at all – those who were already online shopping, working from home or unable to leave their home.
Who would have thought that you would have to stay in your home and not travel or do anything unless it was ‘absolutely necessary’.
Each of these has brought challenges.
What have you noticed?
During this time we have had to do things differently, and I like to think that within that we can look at this as being an opportunity to try and do things that we would never have ordinarily considered doing.
What have you learned?
Have you found out that you really like doing something – for example washing clothes – the simple act of seeing an action through from beginning to end? In these uncertain times, having certainty and knowing an outcome can be really soothing for our nervous system. Have you made a connection, that this is what you need in life, to be able to see a process through from beginning to end, but realise that the job that you are/were doing does not allow you to do this, and this may be causing the anxiety and stress that you get with your job – and that you realise that you are now feeling much better by not working?
Have you found out that you really do need your space? That having your spouse / children around all the time means that you don’t have ‘me time’ and that is really important to you. When they go out and do their activity – which they are missing and realise is important for their health – you get to do something for you.
Have you realised that working from home is great / not so great? Online / virtual meetings are doable and practical, but are you finding them more tiring? Most of our communication is non-verbal – the gestures and body language that we have and which we read – and we do it automatically when we meet someone. When they are online and you can only see their face, most of these cues are no longer there, so we will be spending lots more time trying to really work out how that person is really thinking and feeling about something – which is tiring.
Are you missing the commute? Did the commute give you vital head space, a chance to read a book, listen to music? It may be that going to a place of work is important, as it clearly delineates when you are ‘working’ and this then enables you to relax when at home.
Who have you missed seeing in person? Who have you been communicating with these past five weeks? Who has been there, and who has not?
We don’t yet know how or when the lockdown will ease, but we can start to consider what is important for us when it does.
What things can we start putting into place now?
What do we want to keep doing from this experience, and what do we want to change?
This article is written by Karen Robinson, our Clinical Director.