If you haven’t found yourself overwhelmed by a persistent push out of your comfort zone during these lockdown periods consider yourself lucky. If you’re like me then you’ve probably found yourself in that space almost permanently. For some it’s the feeling of being trapped, for others the uncertainty of what’s to come. I’d like to think that it’s not all bad though, being in this situation has forced me to find out so many things about myself – like how comfortable I am being by myself or how much my friends and family actually mean to me, even the pursuit of my hobbies and dreams have come into question.
With lockdown coming to a slow decline, so many of us are going back out into the world with a lot of pressure on being our perfect selves, to indulge in the freedom we continuously crave. That being said, there are a few things that can stop you from pushing yourself too far past your limit.
1) Bide your time
For a lot of you being thrown back into work and social environments may sound awfully thrilling, but it can take a toll on you after being on such a long hiatus. Take a step backwards and find your rhythm. How many hours of sleep do you need to maintain a healthy balance with work? Is going out for that third drink for your benefit or everyone else’s? Don’t let yourself be bullied by the pressures of others, it may be demoralising watching your friends do copious amounts of work and still manage to go out for a night on the town, but each to their own.
Don’t push yourself too hard, take the time to understand what your body and your mind needs – in doing that, it might be handy to also remember that just because you’re finding your own pace, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push yourself to do the very best you can do, just do it on your own terms.
2) Do things differently
Being inside almost 24/7 has had adverse effects on our confidence levels, especially being cooped up in our houses and apartments. Take a different path to work every day, see different friends and family members whenever possible. Put as much variation into the things you do, it’ll not only remind you of the things you like to do and the people you like to see, but it will give you that much deserved sense of self. Going out into the world with a confident perspective of your environment and social circles.
3) Focus on the now
It’s so easy to be reminded of what was and what could be. The news on our televisions and phone screens are just a constant barrage of information telling you how bad the world’s current state of affairs really are, it’s almost unavoidable. The one thing you can do to better yourself is remember that you are here, now. There might not be much you can do for the time past but there is so much more you can do to ensure you are living your life to the fullest now, dwelling on the past or obsessing over the future is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship with your anxiety.
4) If it’s out of your hands, ignore it
We are constantly putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves, especially with things that are way beyond our control. If there’s something in your life that you stress over more than you should, question yourself. Can I really do something about this? If the immediate answer isn’t yes, then send it to the back seat. Our lives are in a constant hustle and bustle and you need to prioritize the things that are most important to you, and if they are out of your reach then maybe you’re giving yourself a harder time than you deserve.
5) Share your concerns
Don’t forget that most of us are in the exact same situation. We are afraid of how the world will accept us after being away from it for so long, when being behind a screen has allowed us to constantly voice our opinions and react to everything that’s going on, it’s so easy to forget that all of this is building up on your back and at some point, you’re going to need someone to help take it off. Tell your parents that you’re nervous to go to work tomorrow or your friend that the idea of sitting in a pub garden is just not something you can handle at the moment. Sharing these things not only give you more control over your emotions but allow other people to become more aware about other people’s well-being.
The finish line is drawing nearer and nearer and after so much loss and sacrifice that people are experiencing across the globe, you need to remember that your mental health, your mindset and feelings matter. That your problems may not compare to others but they are yours and you should be doing everything in your power to ensure that you are dealing with them in the best way possible. I hope these 5 ways to not be overwhelmed will help you come out of lockdown a better you.
A 23 year old writer, from fictional short stories to poetry and song writing. I enjoy making articles about modern culture, the way it affects our brains and creative lifestyles – how we can learn from it, what I’ve learned from it so far.