So tonight we hear the details of the the government’s “road map out of lockdown” although I suspect most of us have a pretty good idea as to what is happening and when? Cautious seems to be the order of the day which if we are to go by scientific data, would seem the most sensible approach but let’s face it, we have been known to suffer the odd u-turn here and there so I don’t think we can count on anything for sure!

It has led me to think though, about my own personal roadmap for the next few months. I am aware that I have got used to certain patterns of behaviour that wasn’t my “norm” pre-lockdown and that I will need to get used to doing things that I haven’t done or even felt safe to do for a while.

I don’t know about you but I’ve avoided being in crowded spaces (even walking along the sea front) pretty much since the first lockdown nearly a year ago. I choose to only go to a supermarket when it’s absolutely essential and even then, I choose times that I know it will be relatively quiet. I can’t remember the last time I went into a “non-essential shop” for something like clothes shopping or gift buying and luckily for me, I have managed to avoid needing my GP or dentist. All in all, my life has been pretty reclusive even during the times when the lockdown was lifted where I live.

So how do we find our own roadmap out?

As I’m typing this I’m aware that the Prime Minister is announcing very cautious steps that are going to happen over the next few months, not weeks, months. I recognise that these steps take some of the pressure off me to integrate into into pre-covid lifestyle as we just won’t be allowed to move very quickly but still, personally, I know I need to re-build my confidence in certain aspects of my life so that I don’t become a mad, reclusive life coach who has longer conversations with her dogs than anyone else (no comments please!)

“Is this really an issue?” I hear some people ask. Well, actually it is and not just for me. I’ve had numerous conversations with people who are desperate for normality and to get back to their old lives but at the same time feel very wobbly about how they do that and it’s not just about keeping people safe from Covid. It’s also about leaving the safety of our homes, it’s going out and about more than once a day and not feeling worried that you’ve broken a rule. It’s booking appointments with confidence and not worrying that you are doing something wrong or taking up someone else’s time when they are so pushed i.e GP’s etc.

For me it’s some simple things. I’m going to make myself walk through our town centre more – not rushing out to buy/get what we need and then rushing home as fast as my little legs will carry me. It’s taking my dog for walks further afield, remembering the beautiful countryside that surrounds us without panicking that I’ll be pulled over and asked where I’m going (and yes, that has happened to friends of ours going on a non local dog walk.) I’m going to start reducing my Netflix consumption and start planning other things I can do albeit from home this summer.

I know some people reading this will find this thought pattern a little daft but I am a little daft and I’m also aware of many clients and friends going through exactly the same process and do you know what? That is okay. It’s okay to be anxious, it’s okay to be cautious, it’s okay to deal with the coming out of lockdown the way that you can cope with the best. There will be others who will steam ahead and as long as they’re not harming anyone else or putting anyone at risk, that is okay too.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, just keep heading in that direction as slowly as you need to but you will be moving forward and you will be following your roadmap out of what has been a truly dreadful year. Baby steps my friends, baby steps.