Lockdown lessons and affirmations for this latest chapter

Let’s take a moment to recognise something important: you’re here, reading this blog, having made it through lockdown to (almost) the other side.

For many of us it’s been tumultuous. We experienced shock, fear, disbelief, calm, quiet, anger, confusion, anxiety, grief…a whole LOAD of emotions in the space of 4-5 months. No one has not been impacted.

So, as we begin to come out of this tumultuous space and enter a so-called “new normal”, what have we learned? What’s going to stay with us?

1) We CAN cope

As we said before, you’re here. No matter how dark those dark days were, you made it through every single one of them.

Recovery isn’t recovery without challenge, and whilst those awfully anxious or depressed days felt anything but positive in the moment, the silver lining is found in your growth by going through it. This is no small feat – it is a big deal. And you can be proud of yourself.

An affirmation: A bad time is simply a time that is bad. I have been through challenge before, so I have faith in my strength to overcome the next.

2) Our tribe affects our vibe

The popular saying goes “your vibe attracts your tribe”, but I feel that under the pressure of lockdown and Covid, it was more relevant the other way around.

We, as an eating disorder clinic, noticed just how quickly the eating disorder community rose up to support one another as services closed their face-to-face treatment and a lot of people – sufferers and carers alike – felt lost, confused and panicked about how they were going to keep things on track.

Social media in particular became a place of solidarity and encouragement and fostered the “hope” we all so desperately need in times of complex uncertainty.

Our tribe affected our vibe – positively. We demonstrated how resilient we can be together, and just how much we can offer one another no matter the distance. It excites me to think of how this virtual support has paved the way for an even stronger community.

An affirmation: I trust the community I have around me. I am not alone. I grant myself permission to lean on those people in my life to guide me through each chapter.

3) We adapt, we grow

When lockdown hit, every single one of us had to adjust our routines and reluctantly let go of many activities that helped us to feel safe and in control. Many felt lost, shaken and scared about what this may mean for their recovery.

Yet over time, what happened?

We adapted. We adjusted. We did what we could every day to help ourselves. And in this process of adapting, we grew. We discovered just how resilient we are to change and (quite possibly) eventually got into the swing of things.

Whilst this blog post is indeed shining a positive light on lockdown, it’s important to note that many people have been left without the resources and support they so desperately need. This is heart-breaking and we’re concerned about the fallout of this.

No matter who you are and how your recovery is going, recognise that by simply “showing up” to the experience of life every day is itself a strength – and possibly a strength we didn’t know we had.

An affirmation: I let go of the past and step into the present. Here I have power. It is from the present that I decide my future.

4) We are part of something much bigger

You may or may not agree with this, but in some ways the pandemic demonstrated that no matter what happens in our day-to-day life, we’re part of something much bigger than ourselves – and that is, life! You may call it a “reality check” but lockdown demonstrated just how much of an impact we all individually have on this big old thing called “existing”.

In the midst of struggle, we can end up pre-occupied and all-consumed with our thoughts and anxieties. Subversively, it can come as a relief to be forced out of our heads and remember that life continues to happen. We are a small puzzle piece in a really huge puzzle and our impact is vitally important.

An affirmation: I am grateful for being here. For experiencing the textures of life and the glimpses of beauty and joy.

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