Tag Archives: post lockdown

LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN. *A Breath Of Fresh Air*.

*A Breath of Fresh Air*.

The coronavirus pandemic has stolen far too many people’s ability to breathe. It is a virus that can have a devastating impact upon the human respiratory system, however, it is not just the virus itself that has stifled many people’s lives.

The consequences of the virus, and the resultant public health policies and initiatives that countries across the world have rightly taken to stem the spread of the virus, has meant that for some, or perhaps for many, and maybe yourself included, a time of enforced lockdown has also made people feel like they can’t ‘breathe’ fully in some way or another.

The things that may have left some people feeling stifled or not being able to breathe in life fully may be physical, or a combination of the physical, emotional, psychological and other factors.

I know some people who have ‘sailed through’ lockdown as it meant time off from the busy pace of everyday life, more time to spend with their family at home, more flexible work-life balance, time to enjoy the fresh air and to spend time with home and garden projects or personal hobbies that they had wanted to do for a while.

Unfortunately, for many of us, things have not been so easy. Perhaps like me you went through 4 months of lockdown alone, and didn’t have any personal garden space to safely enjoy the outdoors, but instead had to navigate the concerns of staying safe in a block of flats and only managed to go outside for a short walk perhaps once every three weeks. Maybe you’ve had issues with your job, income, family, health, loneliness, anxiety, and so forth.

Now that in many places around the world restrictions have been beginning to ease, and also in certain places been reinstated because of covid-19 ‘spikes’, many people have taken the opportunity to get out and breathe in more of life.

In an increasingly busy world, it can be hard to find quiet spaces in nature. However, I personally feel that this is so important to our overall health and well being, in so many ways. As restrictions ease it is a good opportunity to think of ways we can safely find quiet natural places even if that means just a few minutes somewhere where the air is clean and we can hear birds singing and see the ebb and flow of natural life around us. Many of you may have been blessed to have had this all through lockdown, but many of us have not. It is important to find safe and responsible ways to do these things without travelling too far or unnecessarily and without putting other people or ourselves at risk.

Even in busy cities, there are places where there are trees or quieter areas that can have a calming effect, even if you are not so fortunate to have your own or access to some garden space.

However, going forwards, we need to think of ways in which we can breathe Life in more deeply, cleanly and freely, apart from those ways that relate to our environment.

Fundamentally, what is it that gives us the breath of life? What refreshes us deep in our soul when we cannot get out to nature or other such things? For me it Is only the Life Giving and Beautiful Presence, the Streams of Living Water from The Living God that can satisfy my soul. Only Jesus Christ’s sweet and refreshing Presence can enable me to Breathe in Life deeply and freely regardless of environment or circumstances or anything else.

And what about the other areas of our lives that we have had the chance to think about during lockdown? What, perhaps less fundamental, things help us to breathe in life more deeply, satisfy us and give us a sense of well being? As we transition (perhaps back in and out of) from lockdown, what are the things that will help us to live more fully and live less stifled lives?

Is it choosing not to worry, but to exercise our muscles of faith? Is it maintaining and caring for our bodies by getting rest, sleep, exercise, healthy food and nutrition? Is it by connecting or reconnecting with people that mutually enrich our lives rather than drag us down or cause conflict? Is it spending a few minutes a day with our hobbies, slowing down, taking time to enjoy the little things, as the cliches go, to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ or to ‘stop and smell the roses’? Is it taking time to read and find ways to look after our mental health? To continue reaching out to help, encourage and inspire others? To include more creativity in our lives? To make time for the people and things that really matter?

As we move forwards, we are all in different ways, and to differing extents, searching for purer, cleaner, and more refreshing air to breathe.

What are you looking to to find this in your own life? What time, space and opportunities do you have and how will you use them as we all move forwards into hopefully not just a ‘new normal’ but a ‘better normal’?

Stay safe. Be blessed. x

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Life after lockdown. *The readjustment phase*.

*The readjustment phase*.

Like a trusty friend during isolation, You Tube has given me insights into and inspiration from other people’s lives, that have helped me build upon the positives in my own life, during a time with no face to face company. From bullet journaling, to crafts and creativity, prayer and faith, exercise, cooking, morning and evening routines, to simple entertainment, I’ve had plenty to think about and be inspired by. While pondering what possible analogy I could use to try to express the psychological and emotional shift that happens during times of change and readjustment, and the mixed emotions that some of us may be beginning to feel, it was in fact some videos from You Tube that came to mind!

There’s a lovely and entertaining family that vlogs about their life, and in recent videos, the parents were working on a surprise for their young twin girls to upgrade / redo their shared bedroom. When the girls finally saw the surprise they were so happy. They were excited about the new floor space to do cartwheels that their new bunkbeds gave them and were ‘over the moon’ with all the new things that they had and were able to do in their space. Well done parents ! 🙂 . However….. after a few nights the girls started shouting for help and saying they felt scared and ended up explaining that they loved their room but they were ‘going through an adjustment’. Pretty articulate for six year olds to express and explain that emotion, I thought.

I don’t know about you, but in the past few days I’ve experienced feelings of excitement, hope, apprehension and tiredness. It’s been a long four months, with many things to be grateful for, but despite the restrictions, the ‘cabin fever’ and so on, there has been, at least for me, a growing sense of comfort and stability in the predictable nature of day to day life. There’s been a sense of security and even of growth, and I’ve certainly benefited from a slower pace of life. Now, however, it’s like we’ve been given more ‘floor space’, and while at times we may feel like doing cartwheels and handstands, we may also be faced with unsettled or sleepless nights.

I think it’s worth recognising that there will be a degree of psychological and emotional shift for all of us. We’ve braved our first (and hopefully last) pandemic (but it’s not over yet!), we’ve made it through to the other side of our first ‘lockdown’, and restrictions have been significantly lifted in recent days. Yet what we’re moving into isn’t quite the same as what we had before. We have new freedoms, but they’ve changed. The excitement of meeting with friends may be slightly dampened by not being able to embrace them just yet. We might feel a sudden thirst for adventure again with the renewed prospect of being able to do more things, go places, see things for the first time or after a long time, having had the same surroundings day after day for one third of a year. But things have changed. We’re not out of the woods quite yet, there is that underlying risk of a ‘second wave’, and we still need to be aware of all the public health measures that we need to stick with, and maybe some of us are not quite ready to take the next step.

I think the mental realisation that this is a time of adjustment, of processing and reprocessing change is a shared reality in differing ways and to different degrees depending on our experience and circumstances.

I find it helpful though to be able to tell myself that the mixed emotions and figuring out of thoughts is a normal part of adjustment and readjustment to change, and the ‘new normal’ that we are still not yet all that familiar with.

It’s ok to feel unsettled at this stage. It’s ok to feel excited one moment and apprehensive the next. It’s ‘normal’ (or ‘new normal’, or something!).

One of the ways I began to process my experience of lockdown to enable me to have a productive time rather than days drifting into days into days, was to create for myself a ‘vision board’ (online) for my time in quarantine. While grappling with change and uncertainty, my first point of reference will always be the Unchanging Truth that I build my life and faith upon, however, for the day to day practicalities and making sense of what to do, I find I need to ‘reorient’ my brain, my mind, to figuring out how to look forwards and take the next productive steps as I walk through and navigate the changes ahead.

So, I guess for me it’s time to draw up a ‘post-quarantine vision board’ to help make sense of the next few weeks at least, and the adjustment phase we all find ourselves in. It works for me to a certain extent, or at least it did before.

Maybe you can inspire me, if you feel like it with how you are adapting to, managing and making sense of these changing days. 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com