We are starting to emerge into something which we are not entirely clear about at the moment. We wait eagerly for dates to arrive so that we can have more freedom, but it can sometimes feel as though someone has their hand on the brake. I imagine many of us remember learning to drive with a parent or an instructor whose hand was very close to the brake, just as we had found out the difference between the clutch and the accelerator. Just as we make plans for holidays, seeing family and friends, we find that there are still more rules. Whilst the UK is continuing to emerge, we are all too aware that there is still great danger. Can we find a way of living with a sense of hope and purpose even in the midst of much uncertainty?
Who would have thought that we would need instructions on ways to hug – put your face mask on, wash your hands or use hand gel, turn your face away, don’t make it too long and don’t forget to check that the person you are planning on hugging actually wants a hug from you! So for now, it seems that getting into a huddle with your close family or friends, with your arms wrapped around one another might not be such a great plan afterall.
For those who want to travel there is much to consider – what zone is the country in the planned trip – green, amber red. What do we need to do when we get there – and also when we get back? I was listening to a family member describing her planned trip and the various scenarios of what would/might happen if………We finished our conversation hopeful that we would see one another in the summer.
I visited a family member yesterday and there was much talk about what the app said about the weather. Should we go or not, especially as it wasn’t raining at the moment but then it might…..After a few minutes there was an ‘all of a sudden’ moment. Let’s just go and make sure we had the right coats and shoes on. It was just wonderful – being in the park with beautiful mature trees, reaching up to the sky – I wish I knew what they were all called. We sat and drank our coffees and then wandered off in the direction of the car park. On the way back it rained but we didn’t mind – the walk was so precious and we had done our best to prepare. We so enjoyed one another’s company.
Weighing Up Risk
All the time we are weighing up risk – sometimes the choice is obvious, at other times it is more difficult. How do we weigh up risk with a virus which is invisible to the naked eye.
We all have a different tolerance to risk and what we consider to be risky. For some we have been so conditioned to ‘stay at home’ we are now fearful of going out at all or talking to anyone. For others they can’t wait to book time away and get into a different environment.
So we start to venture out, with some anxiety, tentatively – trying one thing at a time and seeing how it goes and how we feel. We may find ourselves comparing ourselves with other people and wondering why we are so timid. Some may throw caution to the wind and please themselves, tired of rules and being told what to do. I would suggest that we take our time and be wise about the decisions that we make. There is no reason to put pressure on ourselves to do more than we feel comfortable with. Let’s think about the potential impact of our choices on ourselves and other people.
Each new day brings new opportunities. There is much that we can do which will help our mental health. Being out in nature is so precious and is free. Many of us now appreciate this perhaps more than we did before the pandemic. Let’s think about what we can do and do that. Let’s nurture our relationships and be aware of other people who may be struggling. It’s not good for us to be in an extended period of isolation – the less we do, the less we feel able to do and our mood may be low. We may also find that anxiety increases.
Many of us have learnt new skills during this time. We have adapted to change in a way that we could not have envisaged previously. We have learnt to be more flexible when necessary and to strengthen our boundaries where that is appropriate.
As we continue to emerge what will we take with us and what will we leave behind?