The ups and downs of life with Covid have been challenging for many of us and in so many ways. The stresses and strains on everyday management of life, this new life that we are all suddenly finding ourselves dis-placed into. As soon as it seems we begin to feel “the new normal” it all changes again.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an eternal optimist and yearn or the days of smiles, hugs, and freedom. When it comes it will be most welcome! Yet the feeling that each stage of the opening of our society and relaxing of rules, brings with it more questions and confusion. This along with covid exhaustion of the “Corona-Coaster” for the last 12 months brings a new set of stressors and anxieties.
After the first wave had passed and things were opening again, I noted particularly in friends, colleges and clients, levels of stress and anxiety rising. The trauma and magnitude of damage to our society, loved ones and ourselves and what seemed like daily emergence of new rules was taking its toll.
The 4 walls of my salon usually so full of fun, holidays, exciting events, gossip, self- care, and chit chat, laughs and intimate sharing, changed. Each appointment became an insight into coping mechanisms, daily challenges, long covid, vaccines, covid tests, missed holidays, missed birthdays, loneliness. Missed families and missed opportunities.
The 4 walls became a safe place. An appointment became a moment to lend a careful ear… exhaustion, loneliness, sadness. For some a safe place to vent. Worries, frustrations, fears. A sharing space. For some a treatment became a place to feel the kind touch of another human. For most a sign of things getting better and getting back to how it was, how it should be, a notch of normality of their previous lives – before Covid.
I just want to tell you, It’s okay to feel how you do. However, you feel. You’ve been through a lot; your world has been turned upside down. You have done your best. Is it all over now? What is going to happen next? I don’t know, … I wish I had all the answers for you, but what I do know is you are a survivor, you’ve come through this. Time will heal you, take your time. There is no rush. And when you do feel like you want to emerge then do it at your own pace. Do it in your own time.
For some the vaccination progress has been the force which will create their new world for others it’s a tolerance they need to bare. Whichever sign of the coin you are on, I think we can all agree that vaccinations will forge the way to normal and serve to protect our elderly, our much loved and respected NHS and those unfortunate to be vulnerable to this disease.
This time perhaps it may be different, or it may be the same, for some it will be better for some there will be more anxiety. We are emerging now slowly coming back to real life perhaps with a new optimism and a wisdom of all we have learned. The beginning of the end of Covid domination. Like the flowers budding in the garden and sounds of birds merrily tweeting their spring calling songs. The warmer days are ahead of us and we hear promises of the new post Covid world rearranging and re-emerging as spring fills the air.
I am so happy to be re-opening the salon in Spring and seeing all my lovely clients. I always feel a huge chunk of my life is missing when I’m not at work. Part of my identity, the need I feel to be with people, to help people in the ways that I can, to create beauty from making people happy, confident. building relationships and learning so much from these wonderful, diverse, funny, sophisticated, intelligent, and just so lovely ladies I have the pleasure to interact with daily.
I’m a great believer in time being a healer but I also believe in talking therapy and nature therapy. Things as simple as doing what makes you feel good. For some a walk-in nature breathing in the soft, sweet air, cherishing each small flower, and marveling at the summer skies. For some Listening to crashing waves and breath-taking beauty each passing minute brings to life in a sky full of clouds on a wet and windy promenade. For others, precious friendships and exploring and finding your inner truth in a non-judgmental hug of understanding and empathy are the resetting, reinvigorating, restoring feel good factors.
Life, with its ever-changing tapestry of ups and downs is a balancing act. Then Covid came along. We’ve been through a lot, things have changed, they way we see the world and the way we see ourselves in the world has changed. Things are not the same.
As we reflect on the passing of the dark nights of winter and the darkness of 2020. I found myself reflecting on the good which can be deemed from all of this (I told you I’m an eternal optimist) personally, it’s taking the time to be kind to myself. I have taken up hobbies and rituals to enrich my life, educate my brain and bring health and vitality to my body. If practicing these things have got me through a world Pandemic, then I think they must be good for me and something I should and need to continue.
So, I am keeping a promise to myself, keeping my happy habits and rituals. The things I do just for me. These practices feed my happiness and my soul, helping to balance the emotional fallout of Covid… the strains, the fears, worries about the future while lovingly, and with open arms, look forward and in my own time feel ready to embrace the new world.