Sue is a person-centred counsellor and psychotherapist and has a private practice in Andover. She shares with us her thoughts on life after lockdown.
“I was talking to a friend recently about all the changes that have happened in my life since lockdown began, and how it might be as we start to gradually ease back into life. My genuine fear is that I will end up back on the treadmill, feeling like there are not enough hours in the day and being stressed by a world that appears fearful and demanding a lot of the time. Lockdown has taught me to slow down and that’s been my biggest learning through lockdown and Covid-19.
“ I have become more compassionate with myself and others and I have started to learn the art of staying more present. And that’s the message that I want to take forward from this time, as life resumes to a new normal. I want to stay anchored in the present moment more often. It has been a long eleven weeks of being mostly at home and I’m fearful of how I will react to being more often in public spaces. So I need a strategy that will help me to deal with the overwhelming fear that Covid-19 and being around more people, brings into my mind and body. I have choices about how I can react. I can pause in the moment, I can use my breath as an anchor point into this ‘now’ moment and I can consciously let go of thoughts and feelings that are striving to get me to react. I visualise a heavy suitcase which I am carrying, and I think about how it would feel to drop the suitcase to the ground. I feel lighter already just thinking about that. And all of my fearful thoughts are in that suitcase and right now I can just drop them and know that I am, in this moment, okay.
“I can decide to allow the pull of the world and its fearful ‘what if’s ’ to lead me down an unhelpful path, or I can choose to breath, and release the suitcase of heavy thoughts into the now of this moment. This is the only moment that we truly have. We spend so much time thinking about the past and worrying about the future, and this never serves us very well. A gift to us all is the breath, an anchor point into now. And so I gift this strategy to you. Pause, breath and release the suitcase. Learn the mantra and use it as an anchor point whenever you are felling anxious and overwhelmed. Indeed the breath can be your portable tool that can now serve the purpose of easing your mind and body whatever situation you are in.”