Restrictions have been given the softer title of lockdowns and are now part of our everyday vocabulary. In many ways we have always lived with the concept of restriction. Society functions with rules and regulations, as do family units. At a personal level we don’t consider that we have infinite possibilities – our brain has already restricted our choices. It does this by ruling out a large number of options for varying reasons (mostly via past experience or social conditioning).
In some ways restrictions give more opportunity. An entire smorgasbord of possibilities can lead to indecision, whereas a few options allow you to be discerning as to what is you truly want.
The Initial Phase
We’ve all have that initial moment of shock, and a few speed wobbles – which may have resulted in you implementing a few of your traditional coping strategies. They could include panic buying, chocolate, wine, and/or Netflix.
Take a moment and reflect on what it is it that drives your stress response. It will fit into one or more of these categories:
– tasks (being busy, filling the space with noise)
– emotion (anger, tears, inappropriate
– avoidance (refusing to acknowledge the situation)
Once you know what your coping mechanisms are then you can see the action for what it is and kick it out. Then comes the moment of denial or acceptance. This is your choice point. To see the positive potential or to be caught in a negative response. It’s a universal law that change will only come about from a place of acceptance and positivity.
What I’ve noticed in the business community is there is plenty of work to be done, but there is also a chance to reset the work life balance. If you can – take that opportunity – you will be rising above the stress and fear and creating a better future for yourself and your family.
Be kind to yourself and others. Start by being the best version of yourself.
The settling in phase
Nothing drives anxiety faster than FEAR.
Our body reacts physically and you will experience an increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and a disrupted digestive system.
We know from yoga that the only one of these three we have the ability to control is the breath – which will in turn signal the body to relax – adrenaline production can stop!
Lockdowns create fear – you see it in the eyes of those you pass by. The cumulative tool is wrecking havoc on humankind’s collective psyche.
Each day see if you can breathe, and then see if acceptance is a possibility.
This is your choice point. To be in fear, or about to turn lemons into lemonade.
Look for the ways you can create a happier life. Focus on the small things and things that you do on a daily basis. Incorporate positive habits such as spending time outside, eating fresh live food, and limiting time on electronic devices.
See if you are the one to step up and be of service to others.
The end phase
As restrictions begin to ease, there is an important “PAUSE” moment needed. Some have been working beyond what is reasonable, and others have found themselves taking an enforced rest. In both cases there has been massive restriction of movement, coupled with fear and uncertainty. All of which has created stress.
Very much like after a loss – there is a period of mourning. Life is not as it was, and an adjustment period is required.
Not everyone will have coped well, and it might not be immediately obvious where you, your family, friends and work colleagues sit on that spectrum. Often while you are being strong for others you box off your feelings until it is safe for them to be released. Most of us will not have done that yet.
In fact it can’t really happen until your perception of the danger is past. It is not just the processing of what has gone, more importantly is the opportunity to look forward and envision the future.
If we are not given the opportunity to reflect and process, then all we will be doing is trying to recreate/recover the past.
Hoping we all get a chance to stop and breathe our way into a better brighter future. What does that look like for you? How can you give yourself and others the space they need now?