Are you a planner or are you someone who is more likely to go with the flow? At the moment, for many of us, much of what we would normally do is impossible. Having certainties removed from us can cause feelings of anxiety and stress. Without knowing when life will return to ‘normal’ what can you do when you can’t plan?
Firstly, these feelings are understandable. I’m finding lockdown fatigue has set in amongst clients and friends as it’s impossible to predict what life will look like for the rest of the year, and even into 2021. Change is destabilising, particularly when it’s unexpected.
What can you do today?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, identify one thing that you can do today that will make you feel better. It might be as simple as taking time out for a cup of tea or looking forward to a relaxing bath at the end of your day. Maybe tackling a task on your to do list that you’ve been avoiding for ages will give you the release you need. Whatever it is, prioritise it and make sure that it happens today – not tomorrow.
How about tomorrow?
Think about what is in your control, and what you are able to do over the coming weeks. These are the things that you can still plan and can make happen. What are they, and why are they important to you? It might be planning your daily walks or exercise, finessing your working from home schedule or arranging times to talk to friends and family. Having a plan allows you to take the pressure off, plus less pressure means less stress, which has got to be a good thing. If you feel you are unable to prioritise these items, work out what the barriers are and see if you can find a way round them.
Looking to the future
Even when we don’t know when our plans can come to fruition does not mean that we can’t make plans. You can continue to identify goals for the future and how you can work towards them, it just means that you may have to be flexible about when they happen and not be impatient if you are unable to move forward as quickly as you would like. You can still plan for a dream holiday and do all the research even if you don’t know when you’ll get to go. Having things to look forward to is important. Worry less about the when and start thinking about what you would like to do when it becomes possible.
By taking these steps you will feel that you have some control back and that you can make plans – they just may not look like we thought they were going to at the beginning of the year, but that’s okay. Being flexible and adaptable is what true resilience look like.