women thinking about what next

Are you ready for life after lockdown?

You’re here! You’ve done it! You’ve made it out of the longest lockdown of the entire pandemic and you’re still standing! The clocks have gone forward, the kids are back at school, businesses are reopening, there is more daylight on offer and spring has most definitely sprung. Everyone’s excited to get their gardens ready for outdoor visitors under the rule of six and reunite with family and friends once again. How are you feeling? Ecstatic? Joyful? Liberated? Excited? No?

If you’re not feeling any of those emotions right now, you’re not alone. In the conversations I’ve been having with women as the UK starts to ease out of lockdown, I’m more likely to hear words like ‘overwhelmed’ ‘exhausted’ and ‘uncertain’ when they describe how they’re currently feeling. We’ve been through a lot this past year and it really is okay not to be okay right now.

Woohoo the kids are back at school ...

8th of March 2021, a big day for lots of parents out there. It marked the day that children in England returned to school and life could start to return to ‘normal’. I know lots of you have been trying to juggle running your businesses around the challenges of home schooling and tearing your hair out in the process.

How did you feel after that first school drop off?

Elated? Relieved?

It was a real milestone moment for parents throughout the country. Did that feeling last? Or did you get home and think to yourself that not much had changed?

England was essentially still in lockdown, all non-essential shops remained closed, you still couldn’t go to the hair salon or meet up with your friends or family and you probably felt as though the weeks of home schooling had taken their toll. You may also have been feeling as though you suddenly needed to throw yourself headfirst into your business to make up for lost time. You may have felt under pressure to say ‘yes’ to every project that you were offered in an attempt to help your bank balance bounce back and that can end up leading you towards even more overwhelm and exhaustion. If that resonates with you, take a look at my previous blog post ‘Why can’t we just say no?’

Women saying no more

I’ve been speaking to lots of women over the last few weeks and what I’m hearing is this … you’re tired, you’re overwhelmed, you’re uncertain, you’ve been here before. You’re excited for the future but also anxious about what it may hold. 

We all pinned so much hope on life getting back to normal in September last year, then for Christmas and now for April that there’s a lot of uncertainty as to whether the end of lockdown really is in sight or if we will be back in this position again a few months down the line. The truthful answer is that we just don’t know and managing that uncertainty is tough. You’ve been through a lot and it’s okay not to just bounce right back. You are human after all.

What is 'normal' anyway?

Part of the problem for many of us is that we just don’t know what ‘normal’ life looks like anymore. It’s been so long since we experienced anything like it that we’ve almost forgotten what it is. Is ‘normal’ even possible again anyway or are we heading for a ‘new normal’ that we don’t really understand yet? It’s way too early for us to know what the true ripple effect of the pandemic is going to be on our everyday lives and we’ve still got so many unanswered questions … How long will we need to wear masks for? How often will we need to get vaccinated? When can we go on holiday? Will it ever be okay to hug a stranger again? Living with that kind of uncertainty takes a toll on us mentally and emotionally.

I'll be happy when ...

Lots of us make the mistake of saying ‘I’ll be happy when …’ You might think to yourself ‘I’ll be happy when … the kids go back to school/I get my vaccination/the shops reopen/I can see my family/I can go on holiday/I can sit in a coffee shop. The problem with thinking like this is that real life never quite works that way. We don’t suddenly reach a magical deadline and all our anxieties and problems just vanish with a snap of our fingers. Reaching these new stages in lockdown easing bring a whole host of new (and probably a bit of old) things to think about again. There are new routines to get our heads around, new ways of working and living as life slowly moves towards getting back to ‘normal’.

If you’re in the midst of a challenging time yourself, then you’ll more than likely find it even harder to see those around you seemingly ‘springing’ back to life. When you see all those photos popping up on social media of garden gatherings and people having ‘fun’ they’re likely to make you feel even more guilty that you don’t feel the same way. You end up inadvertently blaming yourself for not feeing happy and asking yourself questions like ‘Why aren’t I happy yet? I should be feeling happy by now and I’m not, what’s wrong with me?’ 

It’s worth remembering that, despite what we may see on social media, no one has the perfect life.

It's ok if ....

If you’re feeling a little lost and like you don’t quite know what’s next for you, I’m here to remind you that it’s okay to be a little scared of the unknown, it’s okay if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, it’s okay to want to cling to comfort and security and, most of all, it’s okay to feel whatever emotion you need to feel to get through this. There really is no right or wrong way to deal with the situation that we’re in right now and it’s okay to spend a bit of time processing what’s happened in this past year, what you’ve been through and take stock of how you want your life to look moving forward.

If all this is resonating with you, here are a few tips to help you catch a breath and take a step in the right direction:

  • Acknowledge and accept how you feel and remember it’s okay not to be okay.
  • Know that you are not alone. You might be surprised at just how many people, including those you know, are feeling the same way.
  • It’s okay to take a break. I know we can’t take the holidays we dream of but give yourself a little time to ease back into this rather than going full pelt trying to live like it’s 2019!
  • You’ve done it before. We have shown ourselves that we are stronger than we ever thought as we have pulled through so much in this last year. You will come through this, you have before and you will again.

If you follow me on socials or are part of my Facebook group ‘The Successful Ladies Escape Lounge’ (which you can join here by the way) you’ll know that I’ve been really honest in letting you know that it’s been a tough few weeks here at Bosworth HQ. Whilst I am genuinely one of the most positive people I know, that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect all the time. It simply means I have some pretty good tactics to keep pushing on and finding reasons to smile rather than allowing myself to downward spiral

Shelley Iife coach offering discovery calls

If you’re finding that you are coming out of this most recent lockdown re-evaluating your priorities and what you really want most out of life, working with a life coach can be really helpful in getting you focused and on the right track. If you’d like to find out more about working with me, why not book in for a free 30 minute discovery call? Just drop me an email and we can get something in the diary.

I’d love to hear from you and help support you on your journey to achieving your goals in your life

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