As lockdown eases and the prospect of returning to normality becomes an imminent reality, you may be experiencing some mixed feelings. I know I am.
Whilst we cannot forget that there have been many negative impacts of lockdown, especially in relation to mental health, social connection, and of course, the economy, it is also true that for some there have been some unexpected benefits. Hence, the mixed feelings.
On the one hand, there is excitement.
After several weeks of homeschool, my kids are fed up with looking at a computer screen, and they cannot wait until they can connect with their teachers and their friends again. They have missed their friends, their sport, and their routines.
Similarly, although I have been fortunate enough to be able to work (somewhat) effectively from home, there is a definite advantage to being in the same room as someone when you are working together. So, despite being a confirmed introvert, I am excited about being around people again.
Being able to visit with friends and family will be great, and there is no doubt that we will be hosting lots of catchups in the coming months. Connection with our friends and family is vital, and we have definitely missed it these past few months, in spite of our regular catchups on Facetime and over the phone.
However, there is also a sense of hesitation about mindlessly resuming our lives in the same manner as before.
Lockdown has provided a unique opportunity for reflection. For some, this has resulted in a deep appreciation for the way things were, and a yearning to return to “normal”. However, for others, there has been a realisation that the way things were was not serving them well, and there are lessons to be learned from lockdown. These include:
Creating positive new habits
For example, the lack of “places to be” by “x o’clock” has provided extra time and energy to create new and fulfilling habits. For me, this has meant walking our dogs almost every day; something I “meant to do” for years, but never found the time.
Despite loving our four-leggeds dearly, the busyness of our schedule meant the best they got in the past was an irregular, guilt-laden, quick trip around the block. Their almost apoplectic excitement each time the leads came out of the drawer was a fair indicator of the rarity of the event. To say they have enjoyed lockdown is probably an understatement!
For others I have spoken with, it has been the establishment of a previously desired, but never implemented, exercise routine; spending time in the garden; reading; or preparing the evening meal as a family, which has become a possibility for the first time ever.
Increased appreciation for what we have
There have been opportunities to appreciate the good things in our lives, either because we felt the sting of having them unavailable, or because they have sustained us at a time when other things have been removed.
Highlighting what we don’t want to go back to
It is also possible that lockdown has amplified some aspects of our lives that we want to change. The change of pace may have illuminated just how exhausting our previous schedule was; or the benefits of not having to deal with a challenging work colleague have been so notable, the thought of going back to the office creates a sense of unease. You may have recognised that you were so busy being all things to all people that you were on the verge of burning out, and lockdown has provided a reprieve you didn’t know you needed.
Where to from here?
Emerging from lockdown can mean a return to normal.
But it doesn’t have to.
If you don’t want to return to the hustle and grind of your old normal, now is the perfect time to set new goals, create new habits, and cultivate a new mindset.
If you are interested in learning more about how to do this, I’ve created a special coaching package specifically to support you to design your new normal with intention. It’s called, “Better than Before”, and it’s coming soon. To learn more about “Better than Before”, simply click on the link below.
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