Finding Calmness in the Storm – Lessons learned in Isolation

It’s been a while since I’ve shared something so personal and I always ‘umm & ahh’ on whether I should online as I often have distinct boundaries between what’s private & public. I’m not usually the type of person to share such personal thoughts for others to read as I feel it’s something I need to deal with myself but with the current lockdown it’s got me thinking a lot especially before I turn another year older next month, I usually find I reflect a lot more at this time. I hope, perhaps, you find some solace in this that you’re not alone or useful in some way. Our mental health couldn’t be more challenged than it is now.

A few at home thoughts I’ve learned in isolation:

  • Spreading the joy for others means spreading the joy for you too. Self-love is so important more than ever and it’s something we could all focus on more as part of our daily lives and being kinder to ourselves.
  • It’s okay to not feel productive every single day and feel you need to do your best work and be 100% all the time. It’s a wave of emotions many of us are on at the moment; we need to step back time-to-time to catch our breath. This doesn’t mean failure, just allowing time to reflect and be calm & collected for a stronger day tomorrow.
  • Know that you have it in yourself that when you’re feeling at your lowest you can dig deep to find your inner strength and find your own superpower. Whether you’re saving lives or simply putting a smile on someone’s face to help them get through the day, we all have our own unique superpower.

Being mindful of our mental wellbeing

There have been many things out of our control in the past couple of months and our mental health has certainly taken a hit. During the first week of social distancing restrictions, I had experienced my first anxiety attack when attempting a countryside walk where there were a few too many people about than originally thought, something I don’t think I had ever gone through before. It just crept up and suddenly hit me; it’s strange how the brain processes fear and our physical response.

The main things that have kept me busy since that incident six weeks ago, have been making sure I’m supportive and positive for my clients and the ups & downs of being self-employed; the feeling of losing my independence and the reliance of my partner to provide basic essentials like buying food in the shops due to my asthma and higher risk; the uncertainty when it comes to being in the process of buying our first house and the crazy logistics of it all and most recently my partner on deployment for training (nothing Coronavirus related) for a couple of months and what I feel is terrible timing.

Finding joy & calm to create a sense of balance

Though this may be keeping me busy, what’s been keeping me happy is entirely different. This time at home has shown me I can be creative in many ways and express myself through being musical, picking up the guitar and singing away as if it’s karaoke every day, trying lots of new recipes from baking a pineapple upside-down cake to perfecting a panna cotta or just finding the joy in little things like reading a book in the garden (when it’s sunny!) and discovering remote nature countryside walks closer to home to recharge. All these personal hobbies that I never really had time for in my hectic life (we’re conditioned to think being ‘busy’ is a status symbol or you’re achieving more), are things I want to continue as I get older and give myself that sense of calmness to counteract the craziness.

As I turn 27 next month, if I really dig deep, I do feel I’ve become more resilient as a person but feel I’m starting to love myself more, even though I continue to have body insecurities, experience imposter syndrome time-to-time and your typical life worries that you find navigating your 20s.

You couldn’t be more worthy of self-love

My main message is, you’re doing a great job and don’t forget to give yourself some love time-to-time, you couldn’t be more worthy of it.  Yes, the storm is still swirling around us and we’ll need to adapt to a new normal one day but there are so many positive things to take away from this experience. As the old saying goes ‘the sun always shines after the storm.’

What are you lessons learned from isolation? Are there aspects of you current life you’d want to carry forward in the future?


Image above: Overlooking Lake Lugano, Italy at dusk.

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