So we’re in a third lockdown.
Many of you are probably feeling a sense of déjà vu, disappointment and worry.
This may feel very regressive, disheartening and depressing. But there are ways we can best manage these difficult feelings. Here are my three top tips.
1. Acceptance of these feelings is the starting point to transcending them
The best way to manage these inevitable difficult feelings is to allow ourselves to feel them. This is acceptance. The paradox is that this is how we can go beyond these feelings. Rather than automatically and unconsciously pushing them away, if we can allow them to be there, then they can have less hold over us. This can also help us avoid the ‘double-whammy’ of criticising ourselves for experiencing difficult emotions, when the truth is that it’s entirely natural and human to have them.
2. Reality check: using our wise mind to correct ‘scare’ stories
Having created more space to accept the reality of our feelings, it can be possible to stand back a bit from our experience and gain a broader perspective. In particular, we can check if we are buying into any very negative storylines that are not completely in alignment with truth. How true are the things we are habitually thinking? What might be a more accurate version that doesn’t contribute to negative thinking and feeling loops?
3. Liberation within lockdown: absorption in things that interest you
Sure, the nature of lockdown is about restriction of our physical bodies: of liberty, movement, opportunity for activities, and physical connection with others. Yes, this is not good for human beings. It’s constricting and contracting. We don’t like that.
But this doesn’t have to mean our whole experience feels like this. While there is an outer lockdown, we don’t have to experience an inner lockdown too…
So what could you do (or not do) to encourage an opposite movement in your mind and body? How could you allow a sense of opening up, letting go and expanding?
Like with the first two lockdowns, what activities and pursuits could support this? How might you allow yourself to get really absorbed in something – with attention, interest and enthusiasm? It’s about finding ways to give your mind a rest from repeatedly turning over really difficult things.