Chapter 31 - Post Lockdown Blues
Post Lockdown Blues is a thing, look it up within yourselves.
I wrote about this briefly in my Q2 Performance Review - but I wanted to elaborate more on it, cz I don’t think I’ll ever say it enough.
Life gives us no breaks, we have to keep moving forward and keep facing what life has to offer. That’s what we’ve been doing for the past couple of months, right?
Life said ‘watch out, pandemic incoming’, and we locked ourselves at home to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe.
During this lockdown, time and time again, we preached to one another:
Hey, don’t forget to check up on your extrovert friends, as they’re probably not doing so good from being locked at home
Hey, don’t forget to check up on your friends with mental health issues as they may be spiraling at home
Hey, don’t forget to focus on your own mental health
Hey, don’t worry, we’re all in this together
…but then, the lockdown gets lifted, life resumes, and you keep moving forward, without having time to look back at the things we said or did.
I cannot make bold statements on account of everyone on this planet, but this has been my experience, and I’m facing Post Lockdown Blues. I really tried by best to work on myself during the lockdown. I focused on self-care in ways that I never did before. I still was worried about life and all its uncertainty. But I was in a good place mentally, better than I had been for the last couple of months.
I had a routine created for myself, which had pretty basic stuff on there, but things that I wasn’t doing otherwise (please don’t judge, this is a judge-free zone):
My routine included:
doing yoga in the morning
doing my job
taking breaks to walk around the house
playing with my cat
drinking plenty of water
taking time out to read a book or color in some cards
writing on my blog and sometimes in a journal
focusing on a skin-care routine
checking up on my friends
reaching out to people I hardly ever spoke to, just to make sure they’re doing alright
As soon as the lockdown lifted, all I seem to be doing is
Doing my job
Drinking plenty of water
Writing on my blog
Keeping up with selective friends (sorry)
How do I feel about that? In all honestly, I feel guilty.
I wake up feeling guilty. I keep thinking, ‘am I doing enough?’.
I keep telling myself that I am capable of doing so much more because I used to do that. I keep asking myself what happened?
I keep reminding myself that I took time out to do things for myself and interact with people that I love. I keep asking myself what changed?
I keep wondering where that empathy has gone that I kept showing myself? Where is all this tough love coming from?
You know what happened? Life.
Life resumed. Life gave us no breaks. We had to keep moving forward and face what life had to offer. Without looking back.
I ended up dealing with a few personal issues, while maintaining the duties of my job as well as my duties of being a daughter/cat-mom. I ended up focusing on other parts of my life, due to which I was not able to focus on other people around me. But that’s not the biggest issue here, we’re all adults and understand that sometimes priorities change and we can’t focus on certain things anymore.
The biggest issue is that I wasn’t able to focus on myself anymore. I gave myself all this love, affection, empathy and most importantly, time! I got used to receiving that type of attention from myself. And once the lockdown lifted, I forgot about self-care, and continued to join the race of life.
I was on a high from all the attention I received from myself, and once it started wearing off, I immediately tried to blame the Post Lockdown Blues on someone. Who did I blame other than life? COVID.
“Stupid COVID, ruining my plans and self-care routines”. But is it really COVID’s fault that I decided to not give myself any time? Is it COVID’s fault that I ended up spending any spare time talking to friends, catching up on messages, keeping up with family or prepping for the next day? I did not think to take time out for myself, and I don’t mean to be pointing fingers, but it was completely my fault.
We focused SO much on making sure that our mental health was taken care of during the lockdown. No one ever said, “hey, keep doing what you’re doing once the lockdown gets lifted”. It may have been common sense, but in this situation, I may or may not lack common sense.
I don’t know how many people are going through Post Lockdown Blues. Many of you probably got back into the ‘new-normal’ and kept moving forward without looking back. Some probably still continue practicing self-care, and for that I’m so proud of you guys. But for those that are stuck with Post Lockdown Blues. What are we doing to change this?
I was listening to a webinar about how important sleep is for both our brains and bodies. And one thing that the psychologist kept talking about was building that sleep routine, because without a routine, we’re just going to stay in the toxic sleep cycle we’re in.
So I decided to stick to my self-care routine. It should not be something that I should turn to, only when I feel low, it should be there 24/7 so that I don’t have moments later on where I feel any type of blues. Like the psychologist said, it's not like debt, that you can pay it back later. You might not notice in the moment, but the damage is already being done. People tend to forget, myself included, that self-care is a journey.. or maybe more like a wedding vow. Till death do us part.
If you’re on the other side, I wish you health and happiness.
If you’re stuck in the same blues, I wish you strength, health and happiness.
Stay safe, be kind.