So here we are 30 minutes into lockdown in South East Queensland and what can I say, I'm a bit anxious. The shops are empty of stock, covid warnings are flashing across everyone's screens and people are reacting accordingly.
Flashbacks to Nam;-/
The March 2020 covid lockdown was a difficult time for us, 30k in refunds, not qualifying for the 20K cashflow boosts due to restructuring, the insane volume of pivots we made to stay open (oh and that nagging ball of anxiety swirling around in my tummy that keeps taking my brain back to the stress). So for this mini-lockdown, I am determined not to be bummed or to look backward, but instead to spread positivity and put this (short) time to good use.
So here is a list of 5 ways I am choosing not to be sad, followed by what you can do if you still feel sad, anxious or worried about the lockdown after reading them.
So what's a girl to do?
Attitude is everything so my number 1 reason not to be sad about the lockdown is simply that we don't have to be!
It's easy to be drawn back onto the cycle of letting your mind do the talking and getting caught up in the hysteria but in reality, this lockdown (right now anyway) is only 3 days long - That's a long weekend so take 3 days to relax!
I have three young daughters, two cats, and a fabulous husband - all of which are currently on annual leave. This surprise mini-lockdown has just extended our leave and thus given us the opportunity for more well-needed family time (my second reason not to be sad!)
Pressure makes Diamonds
Has today been stressful? Goodness yes.
So many messages, call's, emails there has been no time for anything. But when that pressure comes on that's where innovation grows.
The pressure and stress from the announcement of the mini-lockdown initially caught me - but after we managed to get it under control it has moved to get me thinking about new classes, ideas, experimenting, and making sip 'n' dip better! Lockdowns don't last forever and we ar not going anywhere so my 3rd reason not to be sad about the lockdown is that from ugliness, beauty grows and this pressure will make way for diamonds!
A Creative Break
Ironically, running a creative business means I get to do less of the actual creative stuff and spend most of my time in business development, marketing, and people management. So while our amazing artists are getting jiggy with resin and paint I am doing the boring stuff. So my 4th reason not to be sad about the mini lockdown is that I have about a million projects I want to get down on paper, and a box of canvases in my garage that need some colour, and this 'long weekend' is going to keep me home and available to do it!!
Still feel worried? It's totally ok to feel that way!
Now while I have tried to take a bright side approach to this blog if you are feeling sad, anxious, or worried, that's totally OK, completely normal, and above all, you are not alone in feeling that way.
Take a moment to be kind to your mind - there is a lot going and it's OK to not be OK. So here are some things you can do that might help you feel a little better or help ease the concerns:
Pause. Breathe. Reflect.
Take some slow breaths: in through your nose, then slowly breathe out.
Slow breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress, because it signals to your brain to relax your body.
Connect with Others
Talking to people you trust can help. Keep in regular contact with people close to you. Tell them how you are feeling and share any concerns.
Keep to a healthy routine - Do;
Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
Keep up with personal hygiene.
Eat healthy meals at regular times.
Exercise regularly. Just doing 3-4 minutes of light intensity physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help.
Allocate time for working and time for resting.
Make time for doing things you enjoy.
Take regular breaks from on-screen activities.
Be kind to yourself and others
Don’t expect too much of yourself on difficult days. Accept that some days you may be more productive than others. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information from trusted sources at specific times of the day. Helping others can be good for you too. If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it.
Reach out for help if you need it
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you think you need it. A good place to start is your local health worker. Help-lines can also be a source of support.