Lockdown got you re-evaluating every aspect of your life? 5 things to do.
If lockdown has you re-evaluating your life, relationship and career - take a look at this article to focus your worries.
This is an unprecedented global situation, by all accounts. It is important to keep an eye on our mental health, as well as our physical, and to keep an eye on our loved ones and our fellow humans in need.
What if, however, amongst all this - you are starting to realise you don't like your job, you are unhappy in your relationship, etc. It adds a whole other level of pressure.
Companies are being forced to show their employees how far they will go to keep them, keep them financially safe and support them during this time. Some are coming up short. Some are doing well, but it is giving their employees time away to evaluate whether they want to go back or not.
We are inside, often with loved ones and partners - the constant interaction can bring people together or cause us to see problems in our closest bonds.
This. Is. Stressful. Not only are we concerned with all aspects of our survival, we are re-evaluating who we were before this all started, and if we want to go back to being that person once this has (hopefully) finished.
I'm here to tell you this is normal. We have never before been granted free time to think and plan our lives, and for over-thinkers and people who suffer with anxiety, this is causing pressure to either change - stay the same, or motivate ourselves.
5 things to do if you are re-evaluating your career in lockdown:
Firstly, this applies to those who are either in a furlough situation, or a situation where they know their job will be waiting for them after this lockdown.
1) PROS & CONS List - simple yet effective. Make it specific. What do you like about your job? And no, you can't write that 'Brenda is my best mate and she works at the desk next to me.' Do you like your workload? Do you like your pay? Do you like what your role is? Can you see progression? Is the commute too far?
2) Research your ideas
'Could I be happier?' This is a thought that is tripping us up right now. Yes, I'm happy at my job - but could I be happier doing something else? Could I be happier pursuing a dream?
Rather than ask the question, research the possibilities. Look at other options, and sit down and research what that job means. How do people start in it, do you need qualifications, what kind of pay is available. Instead of thinking of all of these options, make them tangible.
3) Imagine the lockdown was lifted, and you go back tomorrow.
Quick and simple excersise. Imagine that lockdown is lifted and you get back to work tomorrow. Are you excited? Are you horrified? That should tell you a lot about how you feel about your job deep down. If you're excited about continuing on with a project, you probably like your job. If you are horrified at the idea of having to get up, you might like your job but not your hours! Be careful to ask yourself WHY you feel that way.
4) Let go of fear but don't make rash decisions
This is the weirdest situation possible. Everything has changed, therefore worrying about more change is wasted energy. If your fear of changing jobs is due to being comfortable, or worried you won't get something else - try and channel that fear into point 2, and research your options. I also suggest you don't make rash decisions that you might regret, leaving a job while everything is rather precarious. Calm, informed decisions are the best way forward.
5) Imagine your last day
Again, grab a cup of coffee and IMAGINE! Easiest excersise. Imagine its your last day at work, you've handed your notice in. Yes, you'll feel sad to leave your work colleagues, and maybe apprehensive of the future - but are you SAD to leave the work? If not, you've got again a good indicator of how you feel. If you feel sad that you felt you could visualise yourself higher up in your company, or you hadn't learned all you wanted too yet - then its a different story.
This is for people in romantic relationships who have found themsleves in lockdown with their partner and are questioning their non-toxic relationships. For support in how to leave a toxic or abusive environment please call the National Domestic Violence helpline on:
1) Are you arguing more? And why
If you have found yourselves bickering over silly things, like cleaning or playing video games - try and identify why you are arguing. Is it because when you play video games, you commendere the TV? Is it because someone's way of channeling their anxiety is through cleaning, and you aren't following them in that?
Often, in silly small arguments, the reason for arguing is caused by outside pressures. We've all done it, you have a bad day at work and you take it out by starting an argument about laundry. Right now, we are in a very stressful situation and it will cause us to act differently. Your partner may be stressed about their at-risk loved one, and is channeling it by blasting music 24/7? This causes fights.
Identify why you are fighting, and you might find some more compassion for one another
2) Do a Date Night
If you are wondering whether their is any spark left in your romance, remember that again - this is a very stressful situation, and for some people they are not feeling attractive or sexual in any manner. So, it could just be lockdown that is killing your spark. To know for sure, plan a date night. Cook dinner, ask them to dress up nice and get romantic - you'll soon know whether its the lockdown or your relationship that is the problem.
3) Spend time with others (zoom/phone calls)
It is easy to feel crowded by your partner if it is just you two living together, so ensure you keep in contact with friends regualrly so you are a well-rounded person socially. If you are expecting your partner to be your buddy, lover, counsellor, boss, party partner - all the above - It is quite a lot of pressure to put on someone. Ensure you are spreading out your needs across other people.
4) Communicate. Ask your partner 'how are you feeling?' and let them talk. Listen. You can even ask them how they feel about your relationship, and if they think the relationship is in good shape. Communication is key, I know its cheesy - but its true! If you just sit, make eye contact and talk - you can find a common ground quickly if you are well-suited and fair to each other.
5) Make plans for after the lockdown is lifted
If you find that you don't want your partner in your plans after, you will know that the relationship is probably over. If you find yourself making plans that include them, then talk to them about it! It can be really fun to plan things that you want to do after this is all over, and make you feel a slight bit more normal again!
Remember to ensure to make space for eachother, and respect eachother's boundaries.
In conclusion, lockdown is causing a lot of moments of revaluation and frustration. Remember, you are in complete control of how you process your situation. Take your time.