Well, what a year 2020 was.
Like many of you, I had hoped that with the start of the new year we would have been in a better place in terms of Covid.
We are likely to be restricted for the next few months but there is light on the horizon in terms of the vaccine. However, it is going to take some time before it is fully rolled out.
For some people, lockdown has been a blast. They got to take time out, learn a new skill and enjoyed the time.
I am also aware that there are a lot of people who have really struggled over the last year, and this latest lockdown is hitting them hard.
Overall, I have felt that I am on an even keel most of the time, but like most people, I have had my moments and cried my Covid tears.
Here are my thoughts on how to get through the next phase of our journey.
1. Celebrate your victories
For those who continue to be in difficult circumstances, I just want to congratulate you for getting this far. I know that we are not out of the woods yet, but the fact that you are still here, and getting by is more than enough.
And even if getting by isn’t as good as you would like it to be and is not how you would have envisaged it for yourself, please be gentle with yourself.
Celebrate your victories – even if it is only getting out of bed in the morning or washing your face – well done on whatever you have managed to do.
2. Give Yourself Space To Process
Although we know that with the prospect of a vaccine, we are moving in the right direction, we still have restrictions in place and the uncertainty of not knowing how long this will go on for.
Give yourself the time and space you need to adapt to the disappointment and frustration that we are all feeling. It’s not easy!
3. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Remember, what you see on the surface is only what people are allowing you to see.
Their reality could be a lot different behind the scenes.
So, if you think you should be doing better when you see what someone else is doing, try to remember that you are not getting the full story.
Think of all of the people on Zoom calls whose top half looks great but in reality, they are sitting there in their underwear! Appearances can be very deceptive!
4. TryTo Understand Where People Are Coming From
People will have lots of different opinions politically, whether to wear masks or not, whether or not they are cautious about getting the vaccine.
We are all the sum of our experiences and this will have helped us to form opinions which may be different from yours.
There is quite an oversimplification of things at times – you are either for something or against – the middle ground and room for discussion seem to have disappeared completely.
Rather than pounce on someone who has a different opinion to you, and just saying that they are wrong, maybe it would be more helpful to everyone for both sides to try to understand what has brought them to this place, and maybe have some compassion.
Fear is a huge motivator for people, and when people are in this high stress state, thay may not be acting rationally.
5. It’s Good To Let It Out
Being stoic probably has its place but sometimes we just need to let it all out. And it will come out in the most unexpected ways.
For myself, we have been doing a building project for most of last year and there were certain pinchpoints, which when added on top of the whole Covid layer, were extremely stressful.
At one particular time, I was in such bad form, I said I have to shift my energy and took myself out for a walk.
I happened to meet someone I know from many years ago on my way.
We were just chatting and I burst out crying, and then she started crying.
As we texted afterwards, she said it was good to let the Covid tears out, and we both felt better for it.
We are all human.
6. Ramp Up On The Things That Keep You Going
There are a number of things that I would normally do that help to keep me on an even keel.
Tapping is top of the list and also meditation.
It used to be the case that I would do a meditation in the morning and that was enough. I now find that I also need to meditate in the evening as well, just to give me some space to unpack my day.
We are all having to dig a little bit deeper, so you might need to increase the time spent on a certain activity, doing it more often or looking for new ways to help to get you through this.
7. Quietening An Active Mind
We are bombarded with so much information throughout the day, it is no wonder that our minds are constantly running.
This can be especially annoying if you are in bed, trying to get some sleep.
When you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself ‘I wonder what I’m going to think of next?
It is amazing! When you do this, your mind just switches off and stops thinking.
Next time you are in bed and find your mind working overtime, give this a try.
8. Small Things Done Nicely
There is a Covid layer on everyone and this can manifest itself in feeling more anxious, fearful, stressed etc.
In order to give us some relief from this, we need to create moments which bring us joy – even if only for a few minutes.
Try drinking from your favourite glass/cup (what are you saving them for??), writing with a nice pen, a flower in a vase, putting a photo of someone who makes you smile near your workspace.
Think of what small moments can you bring into your day, to help you through these tough times.
9. Express Gratitude
When you are in the throes of misery, I know that this can be hard to do.
That is why it is important to create these small moments and to give thanks for them.
Each night before I go to sleep, I try to list 10 things in my day that I am grateful for.
I start with having a home, husband, cat, water, electricity, food etc – that counts as one.
Then I go back through my day and list the things that I am grateful for.
It could be finding a parking space, eating a nice bit of cake, something someone said to me, a good tv programme.
Recalling these small moments and expressing gratitude will help to raise your vibration.
And a note for those who have really enjoyed this time, please enjoy it fully.
People have said to me from time to time that they feel guilty because for them lcokdown for them has been lovely.
I would say to you to please embrace how wonderful this time is for you and express gratitude. It doesn’t mean that you have to wave it in someone’s face who is having a hard time, but be really grateful for what you do have.
The more you get into the habit of expressing gratitude, the easier it will be to do.
10. Your Inner And Outer Worlds – What Can You Control?
There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and it is very easy to feel annoyed, frustrated and helpless.
The reality is that there will always be craziness going on in the world, and that may never change.
What you can change is how you react to what is going on, and what is going on in your inner world.
We do this by noticing what we give our attention to – some craziness can be driven by the attention we give it. Can you step back from a situation, not read that particular article which is going to cause you stress, react differently?
If you see someone acting out, can you hand it back to them? It’s their stuff, not yours.
Taking some time for yourself and try to bring some calm into your inner world. You may find that your outer world feels calmer also.
Reach Out To Someone
A problem shared really is a problem halved. We all imagine that everyone is fine all of the time and that we may be the only ones struggling.
That’s just not true. Everyone has bad days where everything gets on top of them.
If you have friends and family that you can talk to and they can help you to feel better, then reach out to them.
However, sometimes we need to talk to someone who is removed from our personal situation, so do seek out professional help.
I’m always happy to talk to you and if you need professional help, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.