Emerging From Lockdown Feeling Renewed Vs Battered

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The Trick to Emerging from Lockdown Feeling Renewed vs. Battered

While our planet is enjoying the pause, humans aren't handling the pandemic-induced lockdown quite as gracefully. Reports show isolation-induced stress and anxiety are on the rise, while physical/mental health and life satisfaction are plummeting.


A study by the University of Sydney suggests adults who have stopped working are at the most risk of depleted mental and physical health. Professor Andreas Rauch said “work can provide people with a sense of purpose and routine, which is particularly important during this global pandemic.”


The struggle is also real for people who are working, many from home, often while simultaneously homeschooling children. Working from home isn't as easy as it seems, and the lockdown exacerbates the challenges. No matter how you slice it - living alone or with people, working or unemployed - lockdown is taking a toll.


But hope is not lost; we have more control over how we survive this pandemic than we credit ourselves for. In addition to advice like “exercise” and “develop a routine” (both sound suggestions), here's how to emerge from lockdown feeling better - rather than worse - for wear.


Have Something to Show for It

This simple idea can be the difference between looking back retrospectively on the pandemic and feeling good vs feeling bad about how you used your time. Having something tangible to show for this ordeal will be a great end result, and the process of creating it will be good for you. It's an audacious goal that will keep you motivated daily to nurture something. Here are some ideas:


GROW SOMETHING

A garden is a lovely lockdown pursuit to literally grow something. For those of us without outdoor spaces, a window box herb garden will do. Slowly, you'll see the results as your project quite literally grows.


Or grow your knowledge with an online course. Many universities and online schools are offering free classes. Learn something new!


You could also grow your career. Perhaps you are in a holding pattern or are hanging on to your business/career/industry hoping it will recover. Can you pivot? Is there a new arm to your business you can grow right now?


I started a weekly livestream on my YouTube channel. It helps me explore a new modality of educating and interacting with my online community, while growing my YouTube following. I was inspired to do this after the great success I had hosting a webinar about the Business of Blogging. 


CHANGE SOMETHING

Time for some spring cleaning. Clean out your closets, and reorganize the kitchen cupboards. Slap a new coat of paint on the walls for a fresh new look you can enjoy whenever you walk into the room. Get the family involved in refinishing the kitchen table and painting it with chalk paint and stencils. Do something you can look at later and say “I'm so glad I did that.”

Well Maintained workspace at home with chair and table


CREATE SOMETHING

The sky is the limit! What would you like to create?


You can take up a new craft or hobby, from crocheting to model building. We may not be able to travel right now, but a collaborative family effort could result in a fun photo collage of all your travels thus far, or a vision board for future trips.


Maybe it's time for a side hustle. Job security has never been more tenuous, and having an additional stream of income from a part-time passion project is a wonderful thing to show for your efforts. Who knows; it could eventually allow you to quit your day job.


I'm writing a book. Authors regularly make great strides to isolate themselves in log cabins in the woods so they can write a book, and while my log cabin is a brick building and my woods are the city streets, I'm making the most of the current isolation. Even if nobody ever reads it, the process of creating it gets me out of bed and energizes me daily, and in the end I can say the lockdown gave me an important gift: the chance to create something new.

Painting on a Wall

What will you have to show for this time?

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