Hands up if you have put on some weight during lockdown?
Hands up if you’ve drunk more alcohol than usual?
Hands up if you’ve managed to fit in more regular exercise during lockdown?
Hands up if not having so much planned in the diary has actually lessened your anxiety?
We will all have been leading quite a different life from what we previously considered “normal” during this hideous pandemic. Whether it’s been the way we’ve shopped, what we’ve eaten, how we’ve exercised (or not) how we’ve worked from home (or not) – basically, life has changed and therefore for many of us, so have our habits and not always for the best either mentally or physically.
Please all take note…..this has been an EXCEPTIONALLY difficult time. We have NEVER encountered anything quite like this. We have ALL had to try and find our own coping mechanisms and if that’s been having a glass of wine or 2 at the end of the day, if it’s been frantically baking to keep yourself and your kids occupied that is all ok. You have done what you needed to get this far.
As an ex eating disorder sufferer, the additional pounds gained were enough to send me into a flat spin. I recognised that I was having that extra glass of wine a night, I was cooking more “comfort’ food for me and the husband and exercising less – (initially couldn’t get out much and certainly didn’t have the inclination or desire to exercise indoors.)
I recognised that I was enjoying having no personal commitments in the diary for a while and as lockdown has started to ease, could feel the panic set in that I wouldn’t “have enough time to get stuff done if I started to be a bit more sociable? How on earth would I fit in that one socially distanced dog walk with a friend, god forbid, I might have to get in my car and drive somewhere? How would I manage to get back in time to cook dinner?”
This is all from someone who used to work in Event Management, used to juggling many balls, spinning many plates without batting an eyelash – seriously Kate, GET A GRIP!
So what am I doing about it?
Well during this period, as you know, I had decided I wanted to do things differently in the future so for starters, I actually had a good laugh at myself, took a deep breath and thought “what has made a real positive difference to my mental health during this time?”
And the answer?
Firstly leading a more simple life, actually NOT planning everything within an inch of it’s life and therefore, not over committing myself which then means I feel less tired, more able to cope and enjoy what I do commit to far more. I don’t want to juggle so many balls quite so effectively any more, if I drop the occasional one – does it really matter?
The additional pounds gained – well my logical brain knows that now I am walking more, not feeling quite the same need to self soothe with the extra glass of wine, that I’m quite bored with comfort food, they will drop off again albeit maybe taking a little longer. The most important thing is that I can say to myself “you know what, you’ve not done too badly coping recently, you are managing during an extraordinary time so perhaps it’s time to be a little kinder and a little more forgiving right now?”
So if you’re struggling, that is totally understandable. If you don’t like some of the habits you’ve carried through lockdown – you can put them down, you can chose to just carry the ones that have had a positive impact on your mental & physical wellbeing and if you need some help to do that, ask for it, you don’t have to cope alone. It’s time to be kind to ourselves not just to others.
p.s I know a great life coach if you need any help with the above!