This week I cried-I went out and I CRIED.
Now it will be useful at this point to have a bit of background to all this: I had arranged to meet a friend at some beautiful gardens that I know well and in fact a number of us work there very regularly. We know the staff and the place really well.
I am a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and I know all this neuroscience brain stuff helps me to cope with difficult situations. I have been really good during lockdown or in my chrysalis as I called it in a more positive Frame of mind. I thought I’d know how I would react when I first went out. But I am Human just like everybody else and that in my book makes me a better therapist than I would be if I didn’t experience the ups and downs of life like everybody else. I
This was my first trip out (except my once a day wandering my dog and exercise bike rides ) since the 6th March. I had locked down earlier than the official date due to awaiting a life saving, urgent, priority heart operation from which I had been weeks away from being on the table in the operating theatre. This has obviously been postponed due to covid-19. One of my priorities right now is to keep myself as well as possible both physically and mentally when hospitals open up again. My daily wander with the dog has become so crucial to me for this.
Walking into the gardens through the nursery (because I haven’t been anywhere) I didn’t realise that there was a one-way system despite having heard about them on the news. Of course I went wrong way and then there was the dance avoiding other people which again I’ve only had to do in a minor way when out walking. And then had to go through the shop area to access the gardens and in the shop seeing a member of staff we know really well I cried. I was totally overcome with emotion, unexpectedly. Now if you know me you will know I’m pretty sensible person so I was really shocked by my reaction that was sudden and overwhelming. My poor friend, all she wanted to do was hug me along with the member of staff who was both shocked and compassionate to see me this way. And this is even before I got the gardens.
Walking into the gardens with the gloriousness and the beauty of flowers everywhere was absolutely overwhelming to all my senses. It was as if I had suddenly been taken and dropped on the moon, it felt so out of the ordinary. It was beautiful, colourful, delightful and just so gorgeous to see all those incredible flowers with my friend. By this point I was still feeling emotional, tearful and shaky and to be honest that persisted to the rest of the day. After the drive home had to sit down and just not engage with the world to enable myself to recover some equilibrium. The following day I woke up feeling incredibly dizzy and sick and wondering whether this was the result of the previous day?
Since then I’ve told several friends about this emotional response and they have all without exception been quite surprised to hear about it but then thinking on they can actually see why I might have responded like this. They have all been going shopping, getting petrol, maybe takeaways since they have been able to get them. I have done none of this due to being at high risk from the coronavirus although lucky to have not been on the shielding list.
So why am I writing this today? As we come out of this lockdown people will have reactions to things others are doing but also to what they themselves doing. You may be surprised by your reaction to going out somewhere you have not been for while and you may be surprised by others reactions too. Everyone is going to feel differently about easing out of lockdown I’m doing things that we have not been able to do for such a long time. Let’s just be a little bit aware and sensitive to others reactions and emotions as we move forward into new future.
This reaction of mine has really made me think about how others will feel and respond. It might be that you’re desperate to have the barbecue you have dreamed about for weeks and you think others will be as excited too. And they might be but they might be nervous about going out of the house, eating food cooked by somebody else, being in somebody else’s garden where they don’t know who you have been seeing or how careful you have been around the virus. Their perceptions and risks may be different to yours. Why not ask them what can I do to make you feel safe so that you are able to come to my barbecue, and listen to them, acknowledge their feelings and take into account what they said because other friend you want them to feel good, don’t you?
And here’s a few tips to help with any anxiety or nervousness you may be feeling as restrictions ease. This is me being the Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and psychologist…..
- Try to focus on the good things that have been happening during lockdown and and those things that you know are good for you that you will be able to do going forward. Write down at bedtime 3 good things that have happened during the day-tiny or big it doesn’t matter, if its made you smile then you get another dose of serotonin even thinking about it which puts you into your best part of the brain to help you feel happier.
- As humans we are sociable creatures and we need human contact to enable us to be the best we can be, Think about those people who bring you positivity as it may be easier to see them first in a small way than seeing someone who has their own issues to deal with. You can really only fully support others if you are in a good place yourself.
- If you haven’t seen anybody for weeks, don’t rush to the barbecue with what might seem like hordes of people to you, take it one step at a time, meet a friend for socially distant cup of tea for an hour rather than the day, just take your time, take it at your pace, do what you are comfortable with and don’t be pressured into doing what other people want. Start by driving somewhere for 10 minutes rather than an hour, take a flask and sandwiches rather than worrying about finding food out about. Do what you need to do to feel good.
- Before you go out have a think about or daydream about what you want it to be like, this will help the situation not be so overwhelming and it will help your brain to be less anxious about what you are doing. Do these visualisations a number of times before you go out.
- If you are meeting a friend who is anxious ask them what you can do to help them feel less anxious. Be that friend that helps and not the one that hinders or judges.
- If you start to feel anxious, take some deep slow breaths as these will help overcome the fight or flight automatic response that makes you feel anxious.
- Don’t rush round to see your vulnerable friends-get in touch first and ask them what you could do to make them feel safe if you came to see them in their garden. Be clear that it’s OK for them to be feeling different to you if they are and you are there for them if they need you. That bit of reassurance may be all they need to make their first steps…
- Normal is going to be different, accepting it and making the best of what we can do will help you to feel better about the new normal.
- Be positive in what you decide to do as much as you can, setting yourself one positive thing to do each day will make you feel happier than if you sat and did nothing, Having a a decluttered house will make your brain less anxious so do a cupboard or a drawer each day and get rid of things you don’t need.
- 10.Reframe your thoughts from the negative to the positive which will help with little doses of the happy hormone serotonin. So instead of thinking that you hate all this why not turn it around to how lucky am I to have time to focus on myself and I could learn a new skill with this time.
A RAINBOW GIVES HOPE IN THE STORM.
Please just remember that lots of people have really struggled during lockdown for all sorts of reasons. If that is you and you would like a free Initial Consultation to look at you and whats been happening to your brain with stress, anxiety and other issues then please feel free to get in touch with me. I understand and I can help you with your anxiety and stress coming out of or if you are still in lockdown and I can help you to be the best version of you that you can be!
Charron Artist, Wildlife Conservationist and Solution Focused Hypnotherapist contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org