For many of us, at the moment, thinking about the future (even the near future) is a scary prospect, a daunting prospect and a very uncertain prospect. How can we look forwards to a future when currently we don’t know what is going to happen in the next couple of hours? Everything is changing so rapidly at the moment, from the news to government advice, our working life, our family dynamics… the list is endless! Most of us are taking life day by day. One day at a time. And, if we are thinking about the future, it is clouded by uncertainty, confusion, fear and anxiety.
Disclaimer: I’ve said ‘for many of us’ and actually I’m only going off my own experience and what I have been told by my friends and family so I could be totally wrong here lol oops
My brain has a habit of excessively worrying or catastrophising every situation, so these past few weeks have been quite an unsettling and anxiety fuelled time. And, while I know that everyone will be feeling the same way (I am not alone in this), it does not change these feelings. So I’ve been actively trying to change how I think about the future. We have no idea what the future will look like a week from now… 6 months from now or 10 years from now…
Lockdown WILL NOT last forever (even though it seems that way sometimes), and things may never be completely the same again but instead of allowing my thoughts to be clouded with anxiety about the future, I have been making a conscious effort to look forward to the future.
- I have a jar labelled ‘Things I took for granted pre-lockdown’ and every time I wish I could do something simple (something I wouldn’t have given a second thought before this period) I write it down and place it in my jar; from hugging friends, getting the TRAIN to UNIVERSITY (???), visiting my family or spending money on an overpriced coffee (I LOVE YOU RLLY COSTA), so that after lockdown I will appreciate every little thing in ways I have never done so before (I will try and use my limited technological skills to upload a photo of my jar)…
- I have made a list of activities that I am excited to complete after lockdown so I know I have things to look forward to, despite my brain convincing me otherwise.
- It has taken a pandemic, a national crisis, for us to reevaluate what is important. To appreciate the simple necessities of life. From thanking our key workers (the NHS, shop workers, carers, teachers, scientists etc) to making sure our most elderly and vulnerable members of the community are safe, protected and do not feel alone, to a sense of community spirit, to acts of selflessness, to keeping in touch (in very novel ways) with our nearest and dearest. And, one of my biggest fears is that once lockdown is over, or we’ve got more control over this situation, we’ll forget about what matters most to us again. My biggest motivator during the lockdown period at the moment is that this sense of humanity and genuine kindness will continue.
And, in the here and now?
It’s important to remember that it’s okaYy to feel anxious, worried or upset, taking the time to process how you’re feeling is goOOoD. Stay connected with others – seek comfort from them. Breath. It sounds cliche but self-care. Self care and making time for yourself is of the upmost importance. And, be kind. Be kind to yourself and everyone around you.
Let me know how you’re coping. Stay safe. And, remember, this will not last forever.