Wellbeing expert Lee Pycroft eases us into the new normal.
We live in a world that often celebrates business and achievement over rest and reflection. This can lead us to forsake the insights that can be found when exploring solitude and time away from what has become familiarly ingrained. We can lose time just through the frantic nature of our lives – often at the detriment of the beauty that is in full frontal view.
The current climate is requiring people to spend more time away from their regular routines, both in work and social life, than they would normally choose to. What is unfamiliar and uncertain can lead many people to feel fearful and a lack of control, which can rapidly manifest into anxiety. In this state, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by it all.
How can we grow in resilience, while acquainting ourselves with spending time alone, away from what we know, while creating balance and finding new richness and meaning in the same?
Start with the following.
Design New Rituals
While the mind likes what is predictable and known, our emotional bandwidth grows from being stretched and coming up with new solutions. How much certainty and control you need will depend on what type of person you are. If you prefer comfort over change then big changes to your routine could cause feelings of being unbalanced.
Designing and mapping out your day into areas that relate to practical domestic necessities is key to keeping some routine and sense of control. Aside from that, try implementing other rituals that you wouldn’t ordinarily have time for. What books have you not finished? Is there an online class that you never completed? Is there a new skill you wanted to learn but haven’t allowed yourself the space to do so? Look for ways to grow and develop yourself and feed your mind with healthy and refreshing content.
Search for the Opportunities in the Unknown
In a perpetual rush we can miss the opportunities and gifts that come from a change in routine. It’s easy to get lost in our heads, but a mind that is harbouring worries is less equipped to deal with daily challenges. Testing times call for us to grow and stretch ourselves in ways that may feel unnatural at first but will sculpt us in to the person we need to become in order to rise to the occasion. Having the space to allow our minds to ponder, reflect and restore can free up emotional headspace and energy allowing our minds to reset and think more clearly. This is the time to observe what has been working in life, and what has not, to reconnect to what you’re energised by. Allow yourself space to nourish connections with those around you. They’ll flourish from their sense of your increased presence and awareness of their nature. This is so important, but is too often diluted. It is only looking back that we can see how much a situation that may not have been of our own choosing can be the catalyst for other changes, so stay alert to where the positives might be.
Tune into Moments of Simplicity
When we are rushing from one task to the next, time seems to slip past with many people feeling too preoccupied to notice simple pleasures. We all overcomplicate life and fail to appreciate joyful moments of calm and connection. Take time each day to look out for moments when you feel more at ease. Maybe it is the appreciation of a warm drink, a chat with a friend, bestowing an act of kindness towards another person or a walk in the sunshine. Worry and anxiety are often about thinking about the past or concern about the future, so making the conscious choice to check in with yourself and notice moments of joy in the present can help calm the mind and lift the spirit.
Boost Yourself with Creativity
Creatives have long been known to spend time alone while manifesting their creations. This is to free themselves of daily distractions and allow their mind to daydream, allowing processing and thought outside of their usual limits. Creativity assists in trying out new ideas and solutions through encouraging self-expression and ingenuity. There is no right or wrong way to be creative – therefore, it can be a way to explore ideas without judging yourself and allowing yourself to take some risks in the outcome. Creating the time to use your hands and mind while involved in a joyful activity can also be meditative and reduce stressful feelings.
When we are forced to pause, we grow patience and allow the gems of life to catch up with us. Sometimes it is not the music we need, but the silence between the notes.
Written by: Lee Pycroft | Wellbeing Editor
Lee is a renowned make-up artist and psychotherapist dispensing sound advice on all aspects of make-up and emotional wellbeing.