In today’s crazy ‘COVID-19 times’, individuals are waking up every day wrapped in a freezing cauldron of social isolation, sheer boredom and a penetrating feeling of loneliness and for some members of the queer community this has escalated already challenging times.
The modern human has known little like this, in an age of rapid travel and communication. We have always known what to do next, with their lives generally following a regular trail. But this sudden cataclysmic turn of events has brought us face to face with a daunting challenge – how to live with oneself.
Depending on where you are in the world, you will be at varied stages. Still in strict lockdown and isolation, slowly easing out of restrictions or moving towards the ‘COVID-19 normal’ (as we like to call it here in Australia).
Each stage having various impacts on our mental health and wellbeing.
For some the biggest challenge comes at the thought of being stripped from being able to do what keeps you motivated (travel, visiting family/friends, nightclubs, bars, restaurants…the list goes on) Questioning how you will get through this and not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. Having our existing routines removed and being forced to now make new choices and developing a completely new routine. Sticking to our routines has helped to keep our minds occupied, made us feel more in control of everything, and helped reduce stress levels. Having these removed can be overwhelming at first, but what if this were soon to become an amazing opportunity?!
For others you may currently be under restrictions for some time already and have managed to identify ways to keep yourself motivated to get through. This can be the most challenging time and the most rewarding… Here’s why.
You may have noticed that by being forced into isolation you have spent many hours in reflection (some positive and some negative) Thinking of all the things that have been torn away from you and questioning if your life will ever be the same again. We all know there is nothing beneficial about sitting in a negative space and dwelling on what we don’t have or have any control over. This now can become an opportunity to open our eyes to what we CAN have moving forward.
What if you used this time to think about what you really want out of life? Now removed from all previous routines and distractions, there is no better time to sit with yourself and identify what things that have been holding you back. Was your previous routine serving you? Do you worry what others think of you? Is there something you are passionate about that have never pursued? Are you living your best life? Are you surrounding yourself with the right people? Each opening up a new world of possibilities! Allow self-reflection to lead you to growth, positivity, and happiness. Do not let it become an obsession for your inner critic to come out and turn to self-judgement!
The new ‘normal’
When we finally get to see that glimmer of hope as restrictions begin to ease, for most this will be the most crucial time. Having done so much reflection and identifying what we want to change, who we want to be, now it’s time for action and making choices to align with these new desires. How easy is it to slip back into our ‘comfort zones’ and align back to our old routines? Why, because we have told ourselves it’s the safe and easy choice. One in which we don’t have to battle negative self-talk, limiting beliefs and assumptions. However, how will this serve you in the long run? Now is your chance to grab life by the balls, choose to live it purposefully and with value!
No matter how dark and grim things can sometimes feel, our lives are always filled with choices. The challenge however is to overcome some of our stories we tell ourselves that no longer serve us, learn from past experiences, and remove assumptions that have taken control and blinded us to these options.
For those that are ready to take control of their lives, but struggle with:
- Making the changes required to move you forward.
- Battling negative self-talk
- Lack confidence and self-esteem.
- Making excuses not to change
There is support out there for you and you do not have to do this alone!