How to Emotionally Reset After Lockdown
by Antonia Harman
Lockdown has been the strangest of times. Priorities have shifted, what was once important matters less, and the little things we take for granted we have started to appreciate in a new and profound way. Going out and seeing friends was so normal for many. Leaving the house and basic chores like visiting the supermarket were a bit of a drag, but now many of us crave the old ways.
One of the major things that we are collectively experiencing at this time is gratitude for the status quo. We would give anything for the normal and seemingly-mundane to resume. How funny is that? In many ways, we just want it to be the way it was. Of course, lockdown has shone a light on many things that were not working. Old, outdated systems that refused to evolve were forced to change in a sudden jolt. That is a good thing.
The stagnation is over, things have changed, and out of adversity comes opportunity. People are ready for change: they have had time to consider what is not working and what can be improved. If you are fortunate enough to still have a job, the whole landscape of your work-life may have changed. Many who commuted no longer want to. This is a great time to shift into a new career, especially if you have taken this time to learn some new skills.
As we transition out of lockdown, really do some work on your gratitude. What did you take for granted that was actually a privilege? Focus on how fortunate you are to have the things you have. Many have died globally, but you made it. Celebrate life.
Notice who you missed, and who you thought you would miss but didn’t. Spend time with the ones you missed, and maybe devote less time to those you realise you have less in common with than you thought.
The new normal can be better than the old way. 2020 doesn’t have to be a bad year. It can be a great awakening to who you really are and what is important to you. We get so stuck in routine and being busy that sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. This has been a wonderful time to reflect and truly learn about ourselves. To be the change we wish to see in the world. You can change what isn’t working for you, and hopefully you have had the time and space to ascertain what that truly is.
Have you been doing more of a forgotten, joyful activity in lockdown? Perhaps you’ve had the chance to work out, create a morning or nighttime routine, or practice yoga consistently? Do you feel better and stronger? Keep with it. We really have had the chance to audit ourselves during this lockdown period. Where we may have not had the time and space to see the wood from the trees before, this really has been a chance to get to know yourself and your family at a deeper level. To connect, to play games, to spend time with those you live with. Maybe you were extremely busy prior to this, with social engagements, classes and kids’ clubs, with every minute of your day assigned to one thing or another. How has the slow down felt? Might a slower pace of life suit you more?
We have a concept in our society that being busy is optimal, but in reality, balance is needed. Meditation and thoughtfulness. Being busy often drops us out of the present moment. Are you more present now? Are you happier in yourself now? If so, stick with it. We don’t need to rush, as we once did.
Remember to keep smelling the roses as we ease into the new normal. Just make sure the new normal is an upgrade.
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