What is normal anyhow?
A number of conversations I have had with friends and clients has brought up a continuing theme, and that is returning to ‘normal’ but not really wanting to. Because one of the good things that a lot of us have got from this pandemic is slowing down and re-evaluating that which is normal, and that which is important.
So, what is normal to you, and what is important? And most importantly what are you going to do with this new understanding.
After the immediate anxiety when Covid 19 first impacted us all on a big scale, the not knowing, the fear of what was to come there is definitely a growing sense of people settling into a new rhythm, a new normal. A normal that is perhaps limiting, and for some hugely isolating, but we are all creating routines to help us keep track and pace of our time. Some of what we have found out and discovered about ourselves in this time is good and enlightening, and there is a lot of fear in falling back into the old normal on both a personal and greater worldwide platform.
For me the biggest thing is time to think, which at first was quite scary, but I have channelled that energy, that thinking, into journaling and creativity. I have actually started to value myself and have realised how low down my priority list I have been for many years, and how much that needs to stop. Be that with changes to how I work, changes to what I agree to do, changes to how I use my time around my children, and changes to whom I give my time to.
My normal before Covid-19 was one of running between work and children. I would say family but I have realised how little time I gave my actual family and friends. My husband and I hardly saw each other, my mum, my sister we rarely spoke or saw each other despite living just 15 minutes away and all having phones! I lost myself and my needs in caring for others, and have realised that it is an easy space for me to sit, I have no expectation of anything back from my children for what I do for them, as they are children, and they are like sponges that soak up everything on offer with very little feedback, and to give to my clients is easy and very welcomed, there is the financial transaction and continued commitment to returning for treatment that gives me all the feedback I need. My normal was actually in avoiding any risky relationships, ones where my expectations may not be met. My normal was not putting myself in a position where I could be hurt by over committing or opening myself up. My normal was hiding from potential pain by keeping super busy with those whose expectations were totally clear. And that includes the relationship with myself and my needs and desires.
I am, if I am honest a little bit nervous of falling back into the trap of that old normal, I need to be hyper aware of my pattern of behaviour.
1: Clear working hours. I am going to cut back on my hours of work to allow more time to spend with friends and family-if one thing Covid-19 has taught me is how much I love my friends and family.
2: Stop avoiding learning new things just because I am not immediately good at them. I have tried out and shared so much of what I have been learning during this time. I am challenging myself and enjoying the challenge, I have not been great at everything I have put my hand to, and that has been ok. My biggest critic is myself, and I need to stop giving myself such a hard time.
3: Talk to people about myself, my feelings and my goals. I am a great listener. But not a great sharer. I have been far more honest about my feeling during this time, and you know what, it has helped hugely. It has enabled those I am closest to, to love and support me with far more ease. And helped me realise that I am not alone in feeling the way I do, and that it is ok to feel bad, and ok to feel awesome too.
It is too easy to just say, that it is nice to not be running around, or that it is nice to spend time as a family (or not!) But there is more to it than that. Really look into what it was before that made you run around, have no time for yourself. What is it that has come up for you in this space to think? What have you been hiding from? What have you found out about yourself that is surprising, or that you perhaps already knew but were avoiding by keeping busy? If you are not running around after everyone else what will you be doing instead?
What have you loved about lockdown? What have you hated about lockdown? Write it down, explore it, and then chose to focus and grow that which you have loved, and chose to change that which you have hated.
We can’t control the situation we are in currently, but we can choose what we focus on. Do that which makes you feel good, don't shy away from the learning and healing that is available to you, becuase there is a place for you to learn and heal parts of you that perhaps you previously hid from or buried. But, it is really important to say that if you are in a situation that is in no way good then please reach out if you need more help, more support. If you are in a dangerous or harmful situation then please either call 999, you can use the silent solution by pressing 55, they will then know you are in an emergency situation where you can’t talk. Alternatively, refuge run a 24-hour helpline 0808 2000247 and there is also www.womensaid.org.uk as a resource to help and advise you.
If you would like more support and guidance on how to create a positive mindset, how to unpick and release your stories and patterns, to step outsode of the cycle of anxiety that is being created by your thought patterns and choices so that when life becomes bigger again you can take your new and improved normal back into the world with confidence and clear boundaries then send me an email and we can work through some of this together online, until we have the chance to meet up in person.
With love x