*DISCLAIMER* Tonight’s blog is deliberately hard hitting. I’m here to challenge your thinking and encourage you to be the best version of yourself – not just for you but for the others around you, those who you don’t even realise are watching. All of our actions, influence and inspire others whether we know it or not.
The Exit Strategy…
Have you finished painting the house? Doing up the garden? Newly purchased hot-tub no longer a novelty?Are you fed up waiting for the big end of lock-down announcement?Are you counting down the days until life as we knew it can resume?
Ok, it’s coming, he’s about to announce it…
LOCK DOWN IS OVER…GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then what?
You’ve had it all planned in your head for weeks; where you’ll go, who’ll you see, the things you’ll do with your new found freedom… but have you actually worked out your exit strategy…?
You’ll do all of those things, you’ll do them with haste, with longing, with love and then…life will resume.
A new normal but one that could quickly become routine, mundane, dare I say it… boring?
Have you considered how you will feel mentally, physically, emotionally when the cogs of life start turning again?
Have you thought about the things in life you do want to re-embrace and the things you didn’t miss and are better off without and have you considered how to make sure you don’t slip back into old habits?
Mentally how will you feel not having the kids by your side every moment – you think you’ll love it but bonds have become tighter, emotional attachments stronger, in some ways relationships have become less resilient, more co-dependent.
We as adults cannot wait to hug our friends and loved ones and joyously cheers that first cold pint at the bar, but for kids – that opening eye contact, with friends they haven’t seen in months, may well be awkward, they might be unsure how to respond. Have you thought about re-adjustment and how you’ll model that for them?
Lock-down has been undoubtedly hard for everyone, even those who don’t realise it. Especially those who haven’t realised it. If you’re like me and, as a coping strategy, used your free time to deep dive into work, learning, tapping into your creative and creating a new routine which distracts from the chaos going on around us – then being pulled back to previous structures and expectations will create the opportunity for what’s happened to sink in.
We won’t be able to avoid the incessant Corona chatter, we won’t be able to be oblivious to people’s stories of the heartbreak Covid 19 has caused. We will be forced to reflect on the things we’ve purposefully avoided (not to be naive but to protect our mental health) by focusing on what we could do, not what we couldn’t.
The same goes for nurses, doctors, all of the front-line workers. Those people who haven’t had the luxury of lock down and the indulgence of time to digest, process and compartmentalise their emotions. Who will support them when the hustle and bustle and business of daily life resumes? Will we still clap and cheer them whilst they’re looking after their own mental heath and processing the challenges they’ve faced and witnessed?
What about your physical health? Have you enjoyed daily walks? Cycles with the kids? Has Joe Wicks become part of your everyday routine and have you found muscles you didn’t even know existed?
Have you delighted in home cooking, baking, finding new recipes and cooking as a team? How will you incorporate the things you have enjoyed and the benefits you’ve reaped when you’ve got less time? Will you find a way or will you revert to ready meals and one walk per week before your Sunday lunch?
And the world 🌍 – it’s been hard not to admire the beauty in nature and the wonderful world we live in. The skies have been bluer than I’ve ever seen and the sunshine brighter. The stillness and calmness of nature, vibrant and friendly, has filled so many souls with happiness- but will we remember the positive environmental impact and the healing opportunity nature has had or will we rush back to polluting the ecosystem and over indulge in plastic and travel?
The things I have mentioned are just a drop in the ocean. There is so much to consider and while we still have the gift of time, I urge you to carefully contemplate your exit plan – embrace all of the things you loved before the virus arrived and add to that the positives you’ve gained.
Shed the life you didn’t miss and move forward with a clear exit strategy for your new normal.
A better normal. A life that previously you could only ever have imagined.
This is the beginning of our new life… and the biggest loss would be coming out of this moment unchanged!