We’ve all been waiting for it. Since the day lock down or quarantine or circuit breaker (as they call it in Singapore) has been enforced, we have been looking forward to the day it was lifted. Even us ultra introverts who were not keen to get out, were keen to know the day our isolated existence would come to an end. Many of us suffered from this uncertainty – not sure how long it will last, how long we will have to fear getting the virus, will there be a cure and will things ever be the same again?
And even though many restrictions have been lifted, these uncertainties remain. Not only that, new uncertainties have been added to the pile. Will we have to lock down ever again? Will there be another surge? Will businesses open like before? How do I wear a mask appropriately when I’m in a restaurant? The imposed lock down may have ended, but not the worries and concerns around it. It’s not that life has gone back to how it was before the virus, but life has gone to a new phase with its own rules and rituals. I think many of us have not come to realize that.
Remember – no one has lived through this before. We can’t turn on the TV and a specialists tells us what will happen and how it will unfold. We are all in a puzzle here together at the same time. So – if you find yourself confused and anxious lately, remember that is a logical consequence of the times. I know a lot of people are keen to get back to a world where Covid never existed and will minimize it so they won’t have to be confronted with negative feelings. But the truth is, we are not and might not ever go back to the lives we had before for a very, very long time (till there is a vaccine, most likely).
I also don’t have a simple “this is how you deal with it” playbook. But here are some things that I have learned, some the hard way, and things people around me have shared:
- Keep doing what made you feel good during lock down.
Did you find yourself reading more? Working out more? Enjoying a new hobby? If so – stick to it. Each part of your life is a part of you – even if it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. Take with you what you learned does you well. I noticed I stopped baking once lock down was lifted because it was my lock down hobby. Then I realized how stupid that was, I baked twice this weekend and felt so happy. I felt it had to stop because lock down stopped. Although there is no real reason for it. Bring the lock down goodies with you.
- Take Time
Take time to figure out what works for you. If you are able to go into the office, ask if there are days you can work from home. If it’s been weeks and you don’t feel like any different than during lock down, remember that there is still a global pandemic going on – there is no logical reason why you should feel like life has gone back to the old normal. Give yourself time to figure out your schedule – try out different things to see what sticks for the time being.
- If you need to – lock yourself down
Yep. I said it. If you feel you want some comfort and stability, go back to lock down life. Take a mental health day, live as if nothing changed until you are ready to let the new phase into your life. No one has ever made a good experience rushing into something. To borrow Elvis’ lyrics – only fools rush (in love – but you get the jest). You are reading this blog – which means you are not a fool. So you won’t rush into anything either will you?
There is no one size fits all, try it out, give yourself time and share your findings and tips!