Worried about picking up your life after lockdown? Intuitive coach Caroline Britton has a plan…
The lockdown has a few silver linings – and for many, it’s the change of perspective. From spending more time with your children to having the time to exercise, lockdown life has focused on what really matters. But how do we implement real, lasting changes so that we don’t emerge from lockdown as frenzied and stressed as before? Intuitive coach and healer Caroline Britton helps us plot a positive path out of here.
Where do we start?
“Before you do anything, sit down and think about everything that has brought you joy during lockdown. Then, everything you have really missed that hasn’t been allowed under lockdown rules, and write a list,” says Caroline.
“We all take things for granted, so it’s important to work out what’s truly valuable to you. For me, I’ve missed the small things, like walking my children to school and being able to hug my best friend.
“Next, use this lockdown as an opportunity to reflect and reassess what has and hasn’t worked for you, both now and in your pre-lockdown life. For example, you could think about your commute to work, how much time you used to spend with your children pre-lockdown, and your money habits. Would any changes bring extra happiness to your life? Add these to your list.
“Remember, you don’t have to make grand gestures, like quitting your job, to emerge happier from lockdown. Small tweaks are really effective.”
We all take things for granted, so it’s important to work out what’s truly valuable to you
We’ve identified what’s important. What next?
“Look at your daily life, and then plan how to weave in bite-sized, mood-boosting moments after lockdown ends – even when it’s frantic and super-busy.
“For example, if you have found that daily exercise has supported your physical and mental health during lockdown, maybe you could get up 20 minutes earlier so you can go for a quick run or walk, or do a Jennis workout? Or, how about getting off the train at an earlier stop and walking the rest of the way rather than catching a bus?
“You don’t need huge chunks of time to make positive tweaks to your life. Just walking around your garden for two minutes with a cup of tea each morning and doing deep breathing exercises in the shower will lift your mood.
“Conversely, if there is a part of your day that isn’t working for you or makes you feel miserable, consciously think about how you can change it to make it work better.
“So, if you find it hard to stop scrolling through your social media feeds in the evenings but then struggle to get to sleep, you could set yourself a rule that you’ll switch your phone to aeroplane mode at 9pm every day.”
How do you make sure these new plans will stick?
“To create a new habit, you need to understand why you want it. It’s all very well saying ‘I should’ do something, but it’s easy to give up without the ‘emotional motivation’ and drive to make it happen.
“For example, you might be making these changes to get more headspace in your life, or to feel fitter and stronger. Work out the ‘why’ and think about how you will feel when it becomes a habit.
Remember, you don’t have to make grand gestures, like quitting your job, to emerge happier from lockdown. Small tweaks are really effective
“Next, remember it takes around 21 days to really lock in a new habit – even one that brings you joy. So, mark out 21 days on a calendar and then tick off every day that you repeat your habit.
“The big thing is not to try and make all your changes at once. Instead, focus on one or two new habits first. Once those are nailed, celebrate your win, and you can gradually commit to more and more.
“Finally, give yourself permission to focus on you. This can seem impossible, especially when you’ve got kids and you are juggling work and home schooling, but putting yourself first is the most selfless thing you can do – everyone around you benefits.
“Make a commitment to yourself to make those changes and take personal responsibility for it – because no one else will do it.”
Find out more about Jessica Ennis-Hill’s Jennis Fitness app here