Livin La Vida Lockdown: It Will Wear You Out.
Learning to cope during Coronavirus and why you need to stop pressuring yourself to do more.
It’s April 14th 2020 and most of us are dreaming about the next time we can go sit in the office we’ve moaned about prior to this date however, since the lockdown, many of our routines have changed dramatically. We’re not going to the pub, we aren’t going for meals, we can’t see friends or family and some of us are working from home OR not working at all. With this, there has been an influx of alternatives to try and keep ourselves occupied and sane. Group chats are now having regular video contact and pub quizzes, instagrammers are doing live workouts, Yogi’s are streaming their zen and clothing companies are showing us how to look snazzy whilst stuck in our homes.
Our new normal is completely at odds with being a human, we are social creatures and we have a lot of autonomy and choice in our lives which has been taken away with little or no time for us to adjust. Now, it’s not our decision not to go to the gym, it’s been forced on us. So, we’re looking for ways to regain control of our activities and time by being ‘productive’, and with that has come a lot of unnecessary guilt.
But what’s my point?
I’ve promoted people to dedicate this time to doing something for themselves offering suggestions of a new hobby or housework they have never had time to do, because when will we get this opportunity again? Through my work, I encourage activities as a form of helping our mental health but it’s really important to remember that resting is also crucial to our mental health. It made me think ‘What if you can use this time to just be? To just relax? To not do anything extra and just learn to be in our own company?’, because when will you get that opportunity again? Hobbies and housework will always be there, the gift of time to really get to know yourself might not.
There is a meme doing the rounds on the internet which says:
‘If you don’t come out of this quarantine with either:
1) a new skill
2) starting what you’ve been putting off like a new business
3) more knowledge
You didn’t ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline’
And this is my point. You don’t lack any discipline and you don’t need to be productive, you’re allowed to just be. If you want to learn a new skill, good for you, if you don’t, good for you too!
Self-love and self-care comes in so many forms and there isn’t really a right or wrong way in which to practice it providing the acts aren’t detrimental to our wellbeing. Therefore, if you feel guilty because you sat eating toast whilst watching Joe do his P.E sessions, or you skipped your Skype stretch with your yoga squad for a glass of wine catching up with Corrie on the sofa then you need to ask yourself why. You’ll probably find you’re placing high expectations on yourself in a situation that is already very high pressured and anxiety provoking.
Just like our bodies, our minds need rest too, even if it feels you haven’t physically done much today, you’re coping and that’s enough.