There is no doubt that all of us have been forced to make changes to our lives over the last year, due to the pandemic. Much of that has been largely outside of our control, but how we move forward is very much up to us.
At long last, there are very clear signs that good times are coming. The vaccine rollout is happening at an astonishing rate, and right now, there is a plan for us gradually moving out of lockdown and back to pre-Coronavirus times.
It’s very easy to be worried about what is still to come, and equally to be dragged down by the weeks we still have to face before we can finally embrace our families and enjoy some of the pleasures we want.
So, how do you get through tough times?
Firstly, I would encourage you to be in the moment. Focus on the here and now, rather than the future.
It’s easy to get paralysed by fear and allow it to stop us doing things. When we do that, we forget to enjoy what’s going on in the present, and suddenly time has galloped by, and we regret missing that enjoyment.
Take joy in the simple pleasures that you can access easily, regardless of what else is happening. The sun on your face – yes, I know, not when it’s raining! The birds singing, fresh air and the delight of your surroundings when you are outside.
What gives you pleasure is different to the next person, but we should all indulge in those simple things that make us smile, while costing very little, if anything. It is amazing the effect this can have on us.
Put yourself first. Remember when we were allowed to fly and in the safety announcement, they always tell you to put your own mask on first, before helping anybody else? Well, you need to do that now… You can’t look after others if you don’t have any fuel left in the tank, so you need to look after you too.
What does that mean?
Taking regular exercise. You don’t have to be a gym bunny, and right now that’s not even possible. But we can all go for a walk to stretch our legs and improve our posture after too much time sitting. Drink plenty of water and eat healthily. If you have a soft spot for specific foods, then don’t deny yourself – it’s OK to have cake too! But just temper that with healthier foods – so naughty things are in moderation.
Nourish your mind and soul as well as your body. Take time out to enjoy reading, listening to music, gardening, painting, or whatever else you have discovered brings you contentment.
What lessons have you learned?
While we have been trapped in our homes most of us have learned a few lessons. That might be that you enjoy gardening now – the delights of seeing things grow can be very rewarding. It might be how much you love your home but have realised some work needs to be done to improve it. Or even how much you desperately wish to move, because your home is no longer working for you.
It could be deeper than that. Perhaps you don’t want to work full time anymore. Or you don’t wish to commute to your office every day, when restrictions are removed. You may have even decided that you would like a change of career, or to step back from some of your current responsibilities.
All of those lessons are unique to you. But I encourage you to reflect on them and consider what’s possible. This is the perfect time to start building your life plan for the next stage in your life – whether that’s later this year, or five years from now.
I encourage you not to just sit and allow time to pass by. Remember, this time will pass, and we have got through the worst of it. Cliché though it is, time really is a great healer, and all of our pain and anxiety reduces as time passes.
Why am I talking to you about this?
Because I don’t want you to lose your joy of life. I want you to look forward to the next steps. To plan for a better tomorrow, and to know what might be possible.
And, if you need some help, I’d love to chat about that. Why not take the LifePlan Index as your first step? Or give me a buzz on 01344 875 310.