Our Creative Beauty Director, Gemma Rimmington caught up with Wellness Therapist Julie Phillips to discuss wellness for post lockdown.
How we venture back out into the world with self-confidence...
We remember who we are – humans
Woman Interrupted – is it time for a re-set?
Does the past year feel like your life has been on pause, but the stress increased? Although lockdown has given us an opportunity to stop and smell the roses, for many women, it has increased our mental load, shattered our inner confidence, and created real anxieties about how we will cope once things start to ease. Our lives have been interrupted. As a therapist, I hear this so often from my clients, especially women, who tell me they often feel anxious about going back into society again after such a long time away. No surprise then that a recent Mori Poll showed that 67% women polled said they felt less comfortable than men in returning socialise in restaurants and bars once full lockdown is lifted*
Then there are other concerns. After a year in lockdown, I describe my current hairstyle as ‘sea-witch’ couture crossed with an ancient badger. With no access to professional grooming over a long dark winter in the hinterlands of North Yorkshire, my skin has the colour and texture of cold porridge, my wayward eyebrows would frighten a small child and I have developed the profile of a well stuffed pillow. Whilst physically, I know I can sort some of this (maybe not the stuffed pillow look straight away) mentally, I have used therapeutic techniques to help me change my mindset, build my own emotional resilience, and help my clients. Here are some top tips my clients have found helpful as they return to life out of lockdown.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the thought of socialising after a year of ‘life on pause’, you’re not alone. My best advice to clients is to go at your own pace; do not be rushed into someone else’s social agenda. Of course some people will be super keen to get back out and party whilst some of us may need a little longer to get used to the idea and that’s fine – we can’t all go from cocoon to social butterfly overnight!
Time for compassion
Be compassionate to yourself. Over the last year we have received daily messages that socialising is an unsafe activity, we may fear social situations and need more reassurance. We can’t just flip a mental switch and reverse what we have experienced over the last year. It takes time to adjust; we need to be more understanding of our own needs and treat ourselves kindly.
How are you feeling today?
Check in with yourself daily – ask yourself how you are feeling and take small steps to help yourself navigate difficult days. Sometimes we just need to accept that some days are more difficult than others. In my therapy practice, I call this ‘big waves, little waves’. Emotions can feel like big waves coming to sweep us away – other times we can manage those waves as they lap at our feet. Being in the moment and mindful of the fact that we may need to rest or take time away from others is fine. Just because we can socialise, does not mean we have to.
Is your mind and body connected?
Some days we spend so much time lost within our own mind, we forget there’s a body attached! Find small ways to reconnect mind with body is helpful for balance – I call this Grounding. Going outside with bare feet into a garden can be a great way for grounding to the earth. Find a tree to hug (trust me it works!) If you live near a beach, bare feet on the sand can feel wonderful. Being mindful in the moment and deliberately focussing on the present is a quick way of quieting a busy brain. Mind body connection, being in nature and slow focussed breathing can reduce anxiety in minutes.
Is it time to press the reset button?
The past year has been focussed on health but not always about wellbeing. As things open again, consider what you can do to look after your own personal needs. Long walks with the dog, quiet time meditating or a long bath & an early night are all beneficial to our wellbeing. Equally, booking a beauty treatment for yourself can help boost inner confidence. Doing something just for you is a key decision which says you are worth the investment – after the last year of life on pause, perhaps when we are ready, we can press the reset button!
All Images: Dawn Macnamara Photography