SURVIVING THE GREAT PAUSE
Life as we knew it has changed – and for some it’s for the better. Katy Brown, co-founder of The Vibrancy Hub, offers her top tips for maintaining the best of these times when life alters again
COVID-19, known to many as The Great Pause: the strangest experience of our lives. The enforced stop. A type of slowing down that many of us had previously dreamt about when life was overwhelming, and something that initially appeared unbearable for those who like to be busy bees.
We soon settled into a new kind of rhythm however, and found there were aspects of the slower pace of lockdown life that we really enjoy: the lack of rushing, the quality time with family members, the removal of the intense juggle of a diary packed with work, family and social commitments...
We have more head space
– for ourselves and our loved ones. We have created new routines and rediscovered old hobbies. And it feels good. We have heard the same thing from almost every one of our coaching clients: “I’m not really sure I want to go back to my old normal” – and they’ve also confided that they’re feeling guilty for thinking this way. “I’m enjoying the slower pace, but this isn’t real life,” they say, while expressing apprehension about returning to a hectic schedule. They simply can’t see how their ‘new normal’ could be any different once work/ school/social life resumes.
Our normal life now feels like part of the past. We don’t want to go back – only forwards, and we’re ready to build something different.
At the Vibrancy Hub, we are here to reassure you that there is a way to decide how you want your new normal to look. Here are our top tips for creating it after lockdown resumes:
KATY’S TOP TIPS
Create time in your diary to capture your thoughts. Make a note every day of what feels good about now. What is different to life before lockdown? And what specifically feels better? Consider why it feels good. How does it make you feel in yourself?
What does it let you do more of?
Think about how your ideal next ‘new normal’ would look and allow yourself to dream a little. You will hear a voice in your head saying, “but that could never happen because of XYZ.” For now, try to move these thoughts to one side and allow yourself the pleasure of imagining an ideal day or week.
Now it’s time to get specific. If you know a quieter calendar would allow for better quality family time, how many social engagements are you prepared to commit to per week/month? Would you prefer to work from home a certain number of days, now you know you can? Create a set of mini rules for yourself that will enable you to maintain the pleasures you have discovered during lockdown.
Communicate your mini rules where required – what conversations need to be had with your partner/family/boss? Your life is an ongoing act of creation, and you are 100% in charge.
ABOVE: Laura Bamber and Katy Brown of The Vibrancy Hub. Photo: Karen Staniland-Platt