This blog follows on from a recent video I posted about my observations from social media and the reality I am noticing from my own experiences, but also from speaking to friends and clients.
There is a lot of social pressure at the moment to do great things during lock down whether that be being super happy, learning a new language, decorating your house, gaining a qualification, running a marathon in your garden and so on. These things are all great, but only if you are choosing them.
It isn’t so productive if you feel pressured into doing these things or guilty for not doing them. We are all different and we all have a different way of coping, and not everything on social media shows the full picture and we also need to remember that too.
Let me explain what I mean…
The situation we find ourselves in, is like nothing we have ever experienced before and this in itself means we are all experiencing, at one time or another anxiety or stress about the situation and this is entirely normal, this is a stressful and uncertain time and these are healthy reactions. We have a notion of what makes us feel safe and secure, I studied this a lot in my degree, whether that be health, wealth, routine, relationships with friends and family and so on, this sense of what the world looks like when everything is OK…
..and right now the world has stopped looking like that, the things which usually make us feel safe and secure are different right now. So it is perfectly normal and totally acceptable to not be OK at this time, to have days when it all feels a bit too much, or you find yourself having a good cry and just sit on the sofa watching the latest box set.
This is the ‘current’ normal and what is important is that you do whatever you need to get through this as well and healthy as you can. Looking after our mental health now is for me the top priority, and this could well look like running a marathon in your garden, or it could equally look like binge watching a box set. I could look like doing yoga every day, reading a book, having a relaxing bath, meditating, going for a walk, chatting to friends, or being quite a peaceful and checking out of social media, the news and the dramas ‘out there’ which we have no control over. What I am trying to say is, whatever works for you is what you need to do and that is the only thing you should be doing right now.
For me, I have different days: I sometimes get lots of work done, and I am doing a course as a part of my professional development, but I am choosing to do this, I am not feeling social pressure to do so. Equally some days I have been really happy and enjoying the time out, other days I have cried and felt lonely, some days I have slept a lot, eaten way too much chocolate an watched a lot of TV. I am totally comfortable with all of these, one day I spent almost all day sitting in the sun reading my book and listening to music, that is what worked for me that day, another day I worked until 11 pm at night, but I was feeling good about it and getting lots done.
There is no right or wrong to this, there is only what works for you, if others are doing lots of things, that is great, because that works for them, but if some people aren’t that is great too because that works for them. I urge you to be kind to yourself, to really explore what self-care looks like for you and do that and again remember not everything on social media is true, we are all finding this hard sometimes and that is OK too!
One thing I would say is that if this is getting too much, then do reach out to someone, call or text a friend or family member, or if you don’t feel you can do that, reach out to a trained professional like me, or your GP, or one of the many organisations out there offering support, you are not alone, people care and want to help.
As always if you feel you would like to explore this through coaching you can book yourself an introductory session, plus during lockdown, I have some additional ‘Lockdown Stress Buster’ sessions available too.
Until next time!