Stepping out of the bubble for the first time in eight weeks!
This blog post is a little different, this isn’t really about exercise, it’s about my mental health coming out of lockdown! I wanted to write my thoughts down, so if you are feeling similar, this may help you.
Today is the first day I will go further than our daily walk/run in eight weeks - a whole two months! The first time I will get into the car and go to the shops.
I am feeling a little anxious:
What if after eight weeks of staying safe and corona free I step foot in a shop and go a little too close to someone who has coronavirus?What if I touch my face after touching something someone else has touched?
We don’t have masks - I will wear a scarf - that will be better than nothing, right?
Oh gosh, I’m going to have to speak French! I might just have to keep my eyes down!
Okay, I think I am sounding crazy…...
Things I am looking forward to:
Seeing the beautiful French countryside as we drive 30 minutes to the shop.
Driving on the other side of the road for the first time! Putting some music on in the car and singing our hearts out together (both of us are tone deaf)!
Choosing the food/products, I won’t be able to blame Jack for picking up the wrong cheese!
How can driving to the shops feel so scary?
Driving to the shops and doing the food shopping is something I’m sure many of you have been doing since the lockdown. However, in France only one person was allowed in the car at a time and I have never driven on the other side of the road, so Jack has done the shopping every week. So for me, today is a big deal! How/Why?
I loved this article by Felicity Harley, editor at Whimn (an Australian online magazine “with her in mind”) coining what I am feeling as FOGO (“Fear of Going Out”) like the opposite of FOMO! Maybe I am not alone. “It takes around three weeks to form a habit - to make something familiar to our brain. We've settled nicely in the home zone, safe place for longer than that. So, the thought of going out will feel quite unfamiliar, and for some, anxiety provoking.” Lynn Jenkins, a clinical psychologist told Felicity Harley. Read the full article here.
Which camp are you in?
I feel like there are two camps of people. I spoke to my Mum at the weekend, and although she would love to see some of her friends and family, she said she is quite happy in her little routine with my Dad. She puts the washing on, he takes it out and puts it in the tumble dryer. They have their jobs and they don’t even have to communicate about them! They definitely wouldn’t be too happy with anyone invading their space at the moment but there is that longing for social connection. On the other hand, I spoke to a great friend and she said she just can’t wait for a party, to see all of her friends in one place.
Our next big step.
We are heading to our Workaway - where we were meant to be heading eight weeks ago. Workaway is where you go and live with a family, give them approx. 4 hours of your time per day in exchange for food and accommodation and, for us, a chance to learn French. We can’t wait to meet the other couple, help them with their renovation project and learn French. However, I am a little apprehensive going into someone else's space after they have been locked down for eight weeks! I am sure it will be wonderful, it is just those little doubts that come into your head.
Things that help me with anxiety: exercise, music & writing
The thing that helps me the most when I am feeling a little anxious/overwhelmed is, you won’t be surprised: exercise…...in all its various forms:
1. Running: I have to be honest I never used to understand the concept of going for a run to clear your head. However, after running a little more consistently, I get it now. Some days my mind can be all over the place and it does wander when I’m running, but in a good way. I can solve all the problems in my head whilst on a run. Other days, I can really focus on a podcast to get me through.
Podcast picks: Joslyn Thompson Rule - Fitness Unfiltered, The Guardian - Today in Focus or The New York Times - The Daily
2. An intense workout: preferably a partner workout with Jack, where all I can focus on is where my next breath is coming from. That is meditation for me, no time to think about anything else. I always feel amazing afterwards!
3. Yoga: this can be amazing for feeling less anxious, connecting the movement and breath - mind and body. Usually by the end all those worries have gone. Today we did yoga first thing and I do feel like it has helped me to feel grounded.
Another thing that has taken all of the anxiety away for me at any point during this lockdown, especially today is listening to the beautiful acoustic version of We Rise by San Holo. The lyrics of “We Rise, We Fall...on & on & on” have just been the perfect depiction of the coronavirus rollercoaster over the last eight weeks, and maybe the next eight weeks to come. The other song that has uplifted me everytime I hear it is Sunshine Reggae by Laid Back. I challenge you not to wiggle those hips and feel uplifted when you listen to that song!
The last thing that has really helped, that has just come to me whilst writing this, is writing everything down! I am actually quite excited about my first venture out of lockdown now or that might be because I just listened to Sunshine Reggae and had a little hip wiggle! Also, it’s not a very nice day here so I am weirdly excited to wear my Doc Martins for the first time in eight weeks!
Let me know how you are feeling stepping out again, do you have FOGO or FOMO?
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