Discovering a new balance after lockdown
As Lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted and we hopefully return to some kind of normality, I wonder if we can use this unprecedented strange situation to reevaluate our lives. For front line and key workers this has doubtless been the busiest and most stressful of times.
However for many of you this may be the first time ever you've had so much free time on your hands. And at first you may have caught up with chores or dabbled with some DIY. But once the 'busyness' passed you may have tasted a new found freedom in which to explore new hobbies, or pursued long forgotten pasttimes that used to be your passion.
For me this has taken the form of creative writing, reading and listening to inspiring, positive speakers. And just taking time to be in the moment more and being more mindful as I sit enjoying the sunshine or go for walks.
So what about you? Perhaps you learned a new skill or hobby (learning the Ukulele appeared to be a popular pursuit amongst friends and family!). Or perhaps you enjoyed taking the time just to take life at a slower pace.
Covid-19 has sadly for so many people been one of the most devastating, painful and worrying of times, losing loved ones and causing fear and panic, plus the knock on effects of job losses and financial pressures. Yet there has been many positives that have risen from this terrible crisis. It has brought many communities together; with a sense of solidarity for the NHS and other front line workers; clearer air; and people doing incredible feats to fund raise, to name but a few.
But what does all this mean for you on a personal level? How can you turn what has been a crisis into an opportunity moving forward?
Yes life may begin to be busy again, and it may be too easy to let these new found hobbies and passions that were sparked, slowly drift onto the back burner. But it really is worth making a conscious effort to include these as much as you can in your daily life as having that sense of balance is so important for your physical, emotional and mental well-being. So what was it that gave you that sense of joy, peace or calm?
It will be different for everyone but, whatever it is, put that one thing (or more) to the top of your to do list and in your diary. Keeping to a particular time is even better as it's too easy to let everyday life get in the way. It may mean getting up 15 mins earlier in a morning but doing one thing that makes you really feel alive can set you up for the day.
I encourage you to fit in other pursuits on a more regular basis ( for instance if you found a love of baking in lock down) - once a week or fortnight would be doable and rewarding.
And when so many shops, beauty and hair salons were closed, perhaps you found that you didn't need to spend so much money, time and energy on your appearance as you once did. Or maybe you can't wait to get back into that groove again? There's no rights or wrongs as we're all different, but it may be that you can let go of some things that no longer satisfy you in the same way, to make room for the new.
For many, including me, all of this has given us a greater appreciation for what is really most valuable in life: our family, our friends, our free time, our health and our freedom. And finding the balance that is right for us can help us hold onto these precious gifts.