Whether you saw it coming or not, we’re in for another rough few months. The pandemic didn’t vanish after a few months. It has changed every aspect of our lives, mostly in a negative way. From stopping us being able to see our loved ones to changing the dating scene, to banning travelling abroad, it’s all a bit of a shit show.
I wrote a more optimistic blog at the beginning of the pandemic, but I honestly feel like a different person now to the sweeter, more naïve person I used to be. I feel hardened and weary. When you listen to Trump lying on the news, or you hear about another horrifying incident in the world, we can’t help but feel depressed. We’ve all aged about 10 years in this blurry, never-ending horror.
I’m an optimistic person by nature, but even I’ve found it difficult to see through the darkness of this year.
But, do not despair. I haven’t written this blog to bring you down. The thing is, despite the nastiness and awful things in the world, we have to hold on to the positives.
What are they, I hear you say. Good question. We’re beyond the banana bread and clapping for the NHS stage of the pandemic. We moved from optimism to rioting in the streets because innocent people were dying. It has felt like we’re in the bad place (points to you if you get the reference).
In times of stress, anxiety and depression, I try a gratitude technique. This is especially helpful if you struggle to sleep.
Basically, you go through the alphabet and you name something you are grateful for at every letter. For example, my ‘A’ would be my friends ‘Amy and Alice,’ B would be ‘Bacon,’ you get the picture. Once you get to Z, you’ve just named 26 positive things in your life. I find it to be a helpful grounding technique.
In terms of positives of the pandemic, I know it is hard to find any. But for me, it has brought me closer to my friends and family, because we’re looking out for each other. It has even healed some rifts – I’m in touch with people I never thought I would be again.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
In the first lockdown, I was far too manic in my approach to becoming a ‘more productive person.’ I was determined to master baking, become fluent in German and get the dream bod. How did that go? I ended up burning out burnt out and somehow ended up with hives.
I don’t know how the me of the first lockdown had all that energy (apart from the fact that she had a lot of free time). This time round I am exhausted. Part of me wants to be productive, but I’ve come to realise it’s not realistic, nor sustainable. Basically, I’ve learned to just chill out more. I guess the positive is that I’ve learned more about myself, and how to manage my needs, especially with how to manage my anxiety.
It feels like there is a dark cloud over us right now, but the thing that gets me through is that one day, all these restrictions will be over. It may not be anytime soon, and we may have to endure more lockdowns before we get there, but at some point, corona won’t affect our lives as much. Just look at the Spanish flu; they had to suffer as we have, but then the pandemic was over. It took years, but things did get better. Just like they will for us.
We just have to be patient and hold on to hope. I know it's hard, but we can make it through this.
How I'm going to survive Lockdown 2.0:
Forgot striving for greatness and high productivity, it's time to simply survive, not thrive.
Practise gratitude when I feel highly stressed, anxious or depressed.
Remember that throughout human history we have survived and this will be no different.
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