“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
– John Maxwell
A few months ago, our world and our lives turned completely upside down. But now, as our government sets out plans for us to head back to normality over the coming months, you might be experiencing a host of different emotions. From a fear of leaving home for hygiene reasons, and uncertainty about what the next weeks and months hold, to getting used to the kids going back to school and getting back to the old routine, knowing that things just won’t be quite the same.
It’s potentially a little bit daunting but don’t worry; we are here help with a simple guide to tackling your nerves while you’re living your day-to-day lives.
Within each suggestion, make sure that you’re comfortable with each step. The key is not to push yourself outside of your boundaries and to take small steps. Try to pick out two to three positive points about every daunting situation and create a way of congratulating yourself and your loved ones for each step you take.
Finally, remember that change doesn’t need to be negative; it’s all about how we look at it. Take this next change to look introspectively and grow in the way you want. Ask yourself: what have your learnt about your strengths and weaknesses, what can you do to help yourself continue growing, and what would you like to do more of?
How to cope when your daily routine changes (again!)
If you have been living in a frantic household, with kids’ toys everywhere, a permanently empty fridge, and a sense of eternal exhaustion over the last few months, now is your time to find a self-care routine. Take comfort in doing something for you; you deserve it! Here’s how:
• if you feel lonely during the day, remind yourself that you are not alone; the kids will be home soon and now is a moment for you
• remember that your little ones are having a wonderful time being back at school or with friends.
• think of at least one thing you’d like to do for you today: take a bath, read a book, make yourself your favourite meal
If you have been living alone or in a quiet household, you might feel overwhelmed and concerned about leaving the house and breaking your cosy routine. This is where you should take small steps, while protecting yourself with a mask if needs be.
• Stage your outings by how comfortable you feel. First, head to an outdoor open space. Once you’re happy here, head to the local shop. Once you’re happy here, take a socially distant walk with a friend or visit their window for a chat if rules permit.
• Within each rediscovered activity, remind yourself what you enjoyed about it afterwards. In time you will regain the confidence to be in busier places and to enjoy yourself.
• Practice socially distant socialising with a friend or family member you haven’t seen for months and visit them in their front garden or porch for a chat with them from afar. Just seeing their face will warm your heart.
It’s really important that throughout this process you remind yourself that you are doing a great job of adapting; you’ve been through the hardest initial change already. So now is just a matter of being good to yourself throughout the day.
How to help your family and friends when they’re stressed
It’s incredibly easy to be stressed about others during change. And family and friends usually take pride of place in our concerns. Here are a few ways you can allay those worries.
• For many of us, our lockdown lives were made up of quizzes and catchups on virtual calls, which sometime meant that we were speaking to each other more than usual. So, now that the lockdown is being relieved slightly, make sure you stay in touch.
• Keep talking to each other and opening up, keeping asking how people are and keep reconnecting the ties that were a little loose before the pandemic. Making sure that we check in on our loved ones can boost the ‘do good’ feeling inside of us as well as giving a purpose to our days.
• Be the bearer of good news and positivity in your family or friendship group, when you can. Post some cards, drop off some shopping, send some flowers. After all, positivity is contagious a lot of the time.
How to cope with the stress of changing jobs and finances
When money and work are concerned, stress can be at an all-time high. And we understand that many people are facing job and money challenges as a consequence of the pandemic. Keeping a positive view on these matters can be very difficult.
However, there are ways to help deal with the stress. Here are a few:
• Create a plan: During times of stress, it can be easy to shut down so starting with small steps tends to be best. Start by writing down two or three goals that could help you with finding work or financial woes, such as reworking your CV or reaching out on LinkedIn or old colleagues. For each goal, write a few actions and a deadline to have each action done by. Do not be hard on yourself and make your deadlines immediate; take your time. Once you have achieved the two or three goals, move onto the next set.
• Create a checklist: Once you have your action plan, write it into a to-do list. Take time to write it on something that is long-lasting like a chalkboard or a nice piece of paper to put on your wall or fridge; don’t write it on a scrap that you’ll lose. As you go through each action, tick or cross them off. This will give you a sense of real achievement.
• Positive affirmations: Research five to ten positive affirmations that represent how you want to feel. Write them out somewhere visible (a bathroom is great, so you have a mirror handy) and repeat them every time you see them. When you repeat them, it’s best to do it to your own reflection. However silly it might feel, it’s great to visualise yourself embodying these affirmations. Remember that you have everything already within you, but that your challenge is to find it and bring it to the surface.
• Reach out to friends or family: Your emotional wellbeing is paramount during stressful times. And although it can be difficult to express that you might be having a difficult time, it’s really important to be able to talk about it. Reach out to your family or friends to have a shoulder to lean on; they will support you and lift you up when you need it. They might even be able to help resolve one of your challenges; you never know.
• Live a healthy lifestyle: While times are tough, make sure you eat well, sleep well, exercise and maintain emotional wellbeing. It will help you focus on getting through your challenges while keeping calm and happy.
Facing the shops again
Getting back to the shops is a tale of two sides; on one hand we’re delighted to be able to freely visit our favourite shops, but on the other we’re worried about hygiene and being too close to people.
• It’s really important to abide by the government’s rules and regulations and wearing a mask and gloves while you shop will also help you feel more confident while your browse.
• Visit your local independent shops where you feel more personally tied to the owners and clientele. Where possible, visit smaller shops where you won’t have to dodge many other people, or even outdoor markets.
• Be conscious that others will feel similarly to you. Don’t rush and be courteous towards others; a smile goes a long way!