With the new Covid variant that is around, and the speed at which it is reproducing, we’re definitely not where I had hoped we would be – back in another lockdown. Here I will share some tips for making our way through this.
I know that there are people out there who have really enjoyed this time and blossomed throughout this whole experience – seaswimming (Dryrobes or not!), getting their houses in order, and continuing life at a slower pace. Some of these people have said to me that they feel guilty – please don’t – continue to make the most of it. This is your time.
At the other end of the scale are people who are really struggling – caring for someone with an illness, home-schooling and really being pushed to their limit, and my heart goes out to them.
Now, I haven’t had the best or the worst lockdown. I haven’t learnt a language, tidied the attic or learnt some new skill. Like most people, I’m communicating with everyone by Zoom and able to get out for my local walks. Sometimes things are great, and I’m enjoying the lack of commitments, and other times, I really feel that I am being pushed to my limits. So, I’m in this very wide middle ground – and I think that there are a lot of us here.
The reality is that no matter what you are doing, there is a Covid layer over everything. This adds an extra bit of effort to whatever your task is. So, whether you are working with someone, buying something in a shop, talking to a friend or family member, you are also dealing with all that is going on for them – their worries, their anxieties, fears for the future – I don’t think that anyone is unaffected.
Even maintaining status quo is taking a lot more effort than it did this time last year. So, if you are here in this middle ground, just acknowledge all that you have come through and the fact that you have survived.
You and your family have been fed and watered
You’ve managed to keep everything going with your job.
You haven’t murdered your partner/children/work colleagues – so all in all, I’d call that a win.
It may not look pretty, and may not be how you had hoped things would be but sometimes things being just ok is good enough. So, what I want to say to everyone who is with me in this middle ground – congratulations on getting this far. You have somehow held it together, kept on going, working and just doing your best trying to make sense of it all. And we need to celebrate our victories – however small they are. And even if getting by isn’t as good as you would like it to be and you’re not able to acknowledge your victories, please be open to giving yourself a break.
Small things done nicely
With the restrictions that are in place, we don’t have the benefit of all the little treats and pampering that used to help get us through, so we are all having to dig a little bit deeper inside ourselves.
In order to give us some relief from this, we need to create moments which bring us joy – even if only for a few minutes.
To this end, I have organised my workspace to be in the nicest part of the house, which happens to be our kitchen. The downside is that I have to pack it up each evening. But it’s worth it. I am in a lovely bright space. In front of me, I have flowers and also behind me so I see them on Zoom. I’m looking out into the garden and although there’s not a lot going on there, it’s nice to look at.
I write with a lovely pen and if I’m feeling a bit flat, I put on some jewellery that I normally keep for special occasions. One of my favourites at the moment is a necklace I picked up on my last foreign holiday (remember those?). Wearing this bring me back to that time – enjoying the sunshine, going to the beach and chilling and relaxing.
All of these small details lift my heart a little bit.
Paying attention to small things is one of the cornerstones of building resilience as explained in Ken Mogi’s book The Little Book of Ikigai. He even references how Mrs Doyle’s predilection for making the perfect cup of tea is her own way or practising Ikigai and doing small things nicely!
Why not try drinking from your favourite glass/cup (what are you saving them for?), writing with a nice pen, a flower in a vase, putting a photo of someone who makes you smile near your workspace.
Think of what small moments can you bring into your day, to help you through the Groundhog Day-ness that we are all experiencing.
Come join me for the Positively The Gloss online event taking place on Thursday March 11. At this event, I will be sharing some tools and techniques I use to help release stress to get you through these challenging times. I will be showing you a technique called tapping. Based on Chinese acupuncture, it is a system where you tap on acupuncture points around the body, to help calm those busy thoughts. It can be used for all sorts of things including pain management. It even works for cravings! Come and tap your lockdown stress away as part of our new online initiative, Positively The Gloss. Book your ticket now through the GLOSS SHOP.
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