As lockdown 3.0 comes to an end, I’ve been tentatively allowing myself to start thinking about what I want to do as restrictions are lifted.
I know it’s quite possible that this is not the last COVID lockdown we will experience, but for my own sanity and wellbeing, I need to at least start to establish some goals for post-lockdown.
Of course, there are many things that I’m looking forward to being able to do again, such as seeing my brother or going out for a drive with my mum just for a change of scenery, but I’m also trying to think about things that have the potential to move my life forwards a relatively long period of stagnation or even regression.
1) Visiting the library
It’s no secret that I’m a bookworm, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is the first item on my list. However, it’s not just about the books.
I struggle with going out, but one of the few places I can manage is the library. I have to be accompanied, however once I’m there, the calm, quiet atmosphere is reassuring to me and I am able to browse on my own.
This small experience of independence is so important for my self-confidence, so I’m really looking forward to getting back into the habit of doing this again.
My already low self-confidence has definitely taken a big hit during the lockdowns, so I think/hope getting back out there will help to improve my mental well being.
2) Going swimming
I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The consultant has put me on the waiting list for hydrotherapy (physical therapy in a swimming pool). This sounds like it could really help me, however I was warned that the waiting list is very backlogged due to COVID.
In the meantime, my plan is to start going swimming as soon as facilities are allowed to reopen. I know I need to start small but I’d like to try to get started on my own while I wait for proper hydrotherapy.
The thought of going swimming is terrifying for several reasons. My ‘regular’ anxiety is heightened because I will be going to an unfamiliar place. I’m also very self-conscious about my body fully-clothed, let alone in a bathing suit. I also have mobility issues and have to use a walking stick, so I am scared about the possibility of falling or getting stuck. Added to this, my carer is unable to accompany me in the pool because they can’t swim (however they will be with me outside the pool).
Having said that, I’m going to do my absolute best to ty to overcome these obstacles, because if there is a chance that swimming and hydrotherapy can help me to regain some mobility, improve my fitness, and do so without causing me unbearable physical pain, then that would be life-changing for me.
3) Getting back to volunteering
I am a volunteer group facilitator with Derbyshire Recovery and Peer Support Service. More specifically, I am one of two facilitators for an arts and crafts for mental health group. Along with helping to run group sessions, I also manage our blog and social media pages.
Unfortunately, COVID and the subsequent restrictions and lockdowns have meant that our group has been unable to meet for several months. Of course, this was completely necessary in the circumstances, but I’ve really missed it all the same.
Volunteering had started to improve my confidence and bring me out of my shell a bit, so having that removed from my routine has definitely caused me to backslide. Along with helping others, volunteering made me feel like I was making a contribution (however small) and gave me a feeling of self-worth.
I’m nervous about going back, but I’m also hopeful that doing so will help me to regain some of the confidence it gave me before.
I know these might seem like relatively boring or unexciting things, but to me, they are important.
Spending pretty much a whole year inside the house has undeniably set me back. My anxiety and agoraphobia have worsened and I lost all the momentum I’d been working on with regard to my recovery; mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, etc.
I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on myself to hit the ground running as soon as lockdown is lifted. However, I like that I have some goals in place to help me get started when I can.
Nothing is certain. I’m not oblivious to the fact that more restrictions or lockdowns may be needed and my plans may be scuppered (at least temporarily).
Nevertheless, these are the things I’m looking forward to, and I’m focusing on them to give myself hope that better times are coming.
What are you looking forward to doing post-lockdown?
Tell me about it in the comments! 🙂