The ‘Lockdown Hangover’
Well it’s been an interesting few months hasn’t it – unprecedented restrictions on our freedom, fear of a life-threatening virus, total uncertainty and confusion and, in some cases, extreme loneliness, loss and grief. And amongst all of this we have seen some of the very best and worst of human behaviour. So if you’re feeling your nerves are a little frazzled or drained by the whole thing it’s not surprising – it’s what I’m calling the ‘lockdown hangover’!
But the good news is that you’ve survived! You’ve come through months of uncertainty and challenges and you’re still here. And it could be very easy to just let that slip by unnoticed as life gets busier and we gradually return to ‘normal’ over the next few months (albeit a very different version of ‘normality’). So it’s really important to take a step back and reflect on just how much you’ve survived and overcome so far this year, and the fact you’re still going strong – even if you don’t always feel like it. You may not be where you’d planned to be right now but at least you are still here. And as a good friend of mine always says, “If you’re not dead then you’re not done yet!”
What’s important – at all times, but especially now – is how we treat ourselves. We need to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, practicing genuine self-care to nurture and protect our mental and physical wellbeing. Most people I’ve spoken with recently are concerned they’ve put weight on during the lockdown, been drinking, eating, or smoking too much, or have even just been spending too much money on things they don’t need online. We all have our coping mechanisms – it’s human.
I know I’ve certainly gained a few pounds since lockdown began, and I’m not particularly happy about it. I haven’t exercised as much as I’d have liked and I feel sluggish and low on energy as a result (in my defence I have been working non-stop, which funnily enough is one of my coping mechanisms). My other go-to for stress is a bottle of wine and overindulging in ‘treat foods’ or savoury snacks in the evenings. Throughout the lockdown I’ve oscillated between having a very healthy few days or a week with lots of fresh healthy food and plenty of exercise, and back to back evenings of allowing myself that wine or a few G&Ts and naughty food.
Like any of us, I can choose to beat myself up (which I’m an absolute pro at believe me!), or I can choose to simply accept where I am today and resolve to do something about it. And the start of a new month is the perfect time to set some new goals for ourselves based on a vision of where we want to be by the end of the month or beyond. I’ve just made myself some very specific goals for the next 30, 60, and 90 days so I have a clear vision of where I want to be and what I want to have achieved by the end of June, July, and August, and would encourage you to do the same to reset, refocus, and restart.
Refocus to Create The Summer You Want
Here are my 5 steps for how to take advantage of this new month and get working towards a happy healthy summer:
1. Accept where you are now – whether it’s 10lbs heavier, unhappy in your job or relationship, or anxious about how life is going to be the next few months. Make peace with it, accept things as they are in the present, knowing you are the creator of your own world and you change it at any time.
2. Get clear on what you want – sit down in a quiet place where you can be comfortable and undisturbed for half an hour or so (play some soothing meditative music if you like). Close your eyes, relax your body releasing any tension, and then picture yourself 3 months from now – your ideal self. Where are you, what are you doing, how do you look, who are you with, and how do others respond to you… really get into the detail of how you want to be living 3 months from now.
3. Get your vision down on paper – as you come out of your vision, take a pen and paper and note down everything you experienced about your ideal self using empowering language like ‘positive, energetic, glowing, loved, enigmatic, radiant’ etc. Keep this journal of your ideal self close to hand – perhaps in your desk or bedside table, and revisit it often. Even better – make yourself a vision board with images representing everything you want to be, do, and create. If you don’t have a board, you could make one for your phone or computer so your dreams are there every time you check your messages or email.
4. Set your goals – based on the vision you’ve created, take the main things you want to have achieved 3 months from now stating them in the positive and affirmative present tense. For example, I am so happy and grateful that my body is full of energy, I weigh XX, and I am glowing with health from head to toe. Play around with the wording of these until you’re happy with them and they really get you fired up and excited. Then, for each goal, create 3-5 action steps you’re going to take towards achieving them. For example, I eat at least 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables and lots of healthy protein every day, drink 8 glasses of water, take a daily walk, and do a work out every other day.
5. Feel good now! This is the key to bringing about all you want to create in any given moment. Because when we feel happy, positive, and loving in the present moment (for all we have now and all that’s on its way to us from our vision as though it’s already manifested) we start to raise our vibration which brings us into alignment with the energetic frequency of all we are desiring.
And have fun with this! If you see it as a chore or something for your ‘to do’ list you won’t enjoy it. It’s the perfect time to get re-focused on who and how you want to be, and have fun creating your ideal self to have the best summer possible!