Four steps to doing lockdown YOUR way
Lockdown 3.0 is well underway and although it might feel like Groundhog Day, there is a different feel to it. Apart from the obvious weather difference, the first lockdown brought unchartered territory. There was no rulebook on how to do this. We leaned on each other to find strength but also to try to navigate the situation. Whilst helpful, it also brought with it an element of comparison and overwhelm of all the things we ‘should’ be doing.
This time around, we know the drill and what to expect but this doesn’t make it any easier or without its own challenges.
My reason for writing this article is not to make you ‘see the bright side’ or provide you with a survival guide. I do not believe this is possible since we all have different challenges and circumstances. We are all felling different things and have different needs. So instead, I want to empower you with a 4-step framework to know yourself better. To discover your strengths and acknowledge your resilience. To become aware of your needs and how to meet them.
So here we go:
1. How do you feel?
We often auto-respond when we are asked how we are, but I encourage you to give yourself space each day to really consider how you are feeling.Set boundaries around 5-10 mins of your time to just notice what is going on for you physically and emotionally. Whatever comes up for you, don’t judge it and don’t compare it to what you think you ‘should’ feel.There is no right or wrong way to feel.It is all valid.
2. What do you need?
Shining a light on your feelings might bring up discomfort.First, know that all feelings are transient.You aren’t your feelings; you feel your feelings.This is an important distinction so that you can become aware of your emotions without them consuming you.
Next, ask yourself what is triggering this feeling and what do you need to move forward? Set yourself up for success and start with the smallest thing that will make the biggest impact right now. It could be something practical or it could be something you work on mentally. Pick one thing and start there.
3. Learn to surrender.
As humans we like control and certainty but this pandemic has taught us that we can’t have this all the time.Similarly, the cause of you feeling the way you do is sometimes beyond your ability to completely control.In this case, you need to change what you can control and learn to let go of what you can’t.This might feel uncomfortable, frustrating…even impossible, but it is at this point that you need to learn to surrender.
But what exactly does it mean to surrender? Well, it is not about giving up on yourself, numbing, or sweeping things under the carpet.Rather it is recognising and accepting what you cannot change in your circumstances.It is knowing that this isn’t permanent, but you can’t control the timeline.Surrender is trusting.
It won’t change the situation, but it will provide some relief from the feelings around it.Surrender isn’t easy but by surrendering we experience greater ease.
4. Acknowledge and Reflect.
Finally, acknowledge yourself for reaching this point. You’re here and you are resilient.Reflect on the strengths that have got you here and those you might have discovered during this past year.Have you discovered how patient you are?How caring you are?
What else has this time taught you?What have you enjoyed about this time (there will be something) and what is that telling you about what you want to create more room for going forward?Likewise, what has been challenging and what is that teaching you about your needs and your abilities?
Perhaps instead of seeing COVID as a barrier to connecting with others, we can reframe it as a way to better connect with ourselves.
I hope you’ve found this useful. If you’d like more details on the above process along with a simple visual to guide you through it, you can download my free guide here.
About Deeba Anandan - Clarity Coach.
I am a transformational life coach that believes in taking a proactive approach to our mental health and that part of this is giving ourselves permission to just be us. Many of us, however, have no idea what this means anymore. We are on the treadmill of life, ticking the boxes of what we think success should look like, trying to be everything to everyone and constantly pushing ourselves. I experienced exactly this whilst working for 10 years in investment banking and struggling with my own mental health. I am now passionate about supporting high achievers and people pleasers to pause, break free, and figure out what they really want for their lives. By shedding the weight of expectation, the limiting beliefs and rediscovering what matters to you, you can define the life that makes you truly happy.