At last, the news we have all been waiting for! Now what?!
It is almost a year since we started the first lockdown that saw schools closed and lives paused. Since then, we have had glimmers of hope followed by more restrictions and closures; life really has been a rollercoaster. People are saying that things are looking brighter, there is light at the end of this all, our lives will start to revert back to what they once were and it feels as though everyone seems excited and optimistic, am I the only one who is dreading this a little?
For months, we have been confined to our immediate families, surroundings and increasing restrictions. Now that these are starting to slowly lift, it is only natural to feel a little apprehensive about what this new world will bring.
Questions over safety and preservation of yourself and your loved ones will naturally spring to mind, making the week’s news a little daunting. Thoughts might turn to what you were like before the pandemic took over the world, it is easy to forget the person you were when you reflect on how far you have come and where you are now. Some of us have been out of work or furloughed over the past year and it is only natural that you would start to feel a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities. Many of us have been away from our friends and extended families and are feeling anxious about how we are going to feel and what it will be like.
Whilst some people cannot wait for the reunions, the restaurants and the faster pace of life, others are not quite there yet. Times have changed, people have changed and you have been through so much and have come so far. Give yourself time: time to yourself, time with others and time to enjoy the world slowly open up again.
Your friends and your loved ones are some of your biggest cheerleaders; it’s OK to let them know how you are feeling and even better if you are able to tell them what it is you need to help you feel more comfortable. It might be that you need to set yourself a limit to the amount of time you are with people or know that you can have someone to go on a walk with if you are finding things too much.
Acknowledge when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed and be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to rush to see everyone and go everywhere if you are simply not ready to. Start with those you feel most comfortable around and build up slowly from there. Allow yourself to be around people who make you feel comfortable, safe and happy and just enjoy being able to be together.
Practise self-care and self-love by reaffirming your worth and value to yourself and others; you are able to engage in conversations with others and you are valued amongst those you hold dear. Give yourself a little “pep-talk” to challenge those negative thoughts and remind yourself of who you are the value you bring.
Allow yourself to enjoy the things that bring you joy, whether it’s meeting a friend for a coffee or being able to have a bath in peace, take that time for you to rebalance and breathe.
However you are feeling know that it is OK! It is going to be OK! You are going to be OK!
Always remember: You Got This!