Emerging from lockdown

Hiking north norfolk

This weekend I’ve felt drained and unmotivated to run. Although the weather hasn’t been great – cold and rainy since Friday – I think some of my lethargy has been down to the easing of the lockdown. It sounds strange, but actually being allowed out more has meant that I want to spend more time indoors. In fact, I’ve been finding some aspects of the post-lockdown world really stressful.

That’s not to say I’m not grateful we can go out again. Over the last few weeks I’ve been able to do lots of things I have really missed, like seeing family and friends, going hiking and even popping into a coffee shop for a takeaway coffee. But I’m also well aware that the virus is still here and spreading, which is making me especially anxious when I’m around lots of people I don’t know and it’s almost impossible to stay two meters apart.

In some ways being in lockdown created a coping mechanism for dealing with everything going on in the world. Being cocooned in my safe home and rarely having to venture outside meant that I was able to shield myself from what was happening. Now, though, I’m having to face the world beyond my front door again. So, while lockdown was stressful, the reemergence feels equally as unsettling.

During lockdown I found that my mental wellbeing was helped massively by regularly running and meditating. They are also helping me to cope with emerging from lockdown. I’m finding that running early in the morning, when there are few people around, is enabling me to spend time outdoors without worrying about how many people are around. While meditating daily is providing me with the moments of quietness and stillness that as an introvert I need, especially as the world starts to become more hectic again.

In fact, with our busy lives slowly starting to accelerate, I think there is the risk of us trying to do too much too soon as we aim to make up for the weeks spent at home doing nothing. The truth is that for most of us the lockdown was stressful. Our lives were suddenly put on hold, our plans cancelled and we couldn’t rely on the very basic human need of contact from those closest to us.

So as the lockdown rules are slowly lifted, instead of rushing out trying to do everything and meet everyone at once, perhaps we should allow ourselves to gently return to the world at a more sedate pace and allowing ourselves to fully appreciate what we’ve been missing these last few months. Personally, I have no regrets with taking it easy this weekend and spending the time I need indoors resting.

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