Yesterday during our monthly members Hugs & Brunch meet-up, we talked about life after lockdown. Throughout the pandemic we’ve developed new habits in response to keeping safe with the increased threat of Covid, as well as managing our expectations and emotions when it comes to lack of social contact and pre-covid opportunities we’ve had to kiss goodbye to, such as travelling and exploring our passions and interests. We’ve gone through a collective trauma and are not yet out the other side to really know what our new post-covid world looks like or indeed means for ourselves or our businesses.
During our monthly meet-up we broke out into groups to ask ourselves the following questions:
- What will life after lockdown look like for us?
- How do we feel about it?
- What can we do to support each other as we come out of lockdown into a post-covid world?
- What do we want from life, business and our community?
So what does the new world of post-covid look like and how do we feel about it?
- We will want the continued flexibility of working remotely – many relocating out of built up cities
- We crave physical connection and want to work with others in a coworking setting
- Time spent IRL with others will be cut back compared to how it once was. Zooms will be charged for. Calls (depending on the nature of them) will be free.
- Things will be slow evolving and gradual as we ease back into “normality”
- Flexibility will be essential moving forwards, no more rigid structures to our day
- Boundaries must be revisited as the “always on” culture is not sustainable
- OOO will be used as a way to implement boundaries with our clients/customers
- We are finding the lack of spontaneity challenging – can’t just book a table somewhere and turn up
- Face to Face meetings and events will require more of our time and energy so will be priced accordingly compared to virtual meetings and events
We then took it to our instagram community…
When asked about attending events IRL again:
- 50% said I’m ready to meet people
- 50% said ask me again in a month
When asked how they feel about life after lockdown:
- 43% said hopeful
- 40% said cautious
- 17% said anxious
When asked how they feel about socialising in large groups:
- 50% said no
- 50% said yes
Here’s a snapshot of the results
Some tips for those feeling a little anxious:
Go at your own pace
Take it easy and don’t let anyone else’s social calendar have a bearing on how quickly or slowly you decide to venture out again. Avoid packing your schedule, especially if you’ve become used to a lack of structure. Be honest about what feels comfortable and when you may be feeling overstretched.
Implement healthy boundaries
Whether it’s a client who wants to jump on yet another Zoom call to discuss a project you’re working on, a friend who wants you to come to the pub or it’s simply the insta scroll has got you in a comparison hole, look out for signs that you need to take a step back, close the laptop, put down the phone and spend some time doing some nourishing activities that make you feel a little more like you again. Add an out of office on your emails explaining your working hours and when others can expect a reply from you. This will take the pressure off feeling like you have to respond within a certain timeframe.
Remove the “shoulds” when it comes to your feelings
We’ve been going through a collective trauma, we’ve had to sacrifice so many things we once took for granted, we’re still licking our wounds and that includes our emotional ones too. So when something happens and the way you feel surprises you, “I should be happy for them”, “I shouldn’t be so angry about it” etc, whether it’s about a certain situation or a particular person in your life, know that your feelings are valid no matter what they are.
It’s easy to assume that jumping back into gatherings and social events is the way to bring more joy and love into your life but remember too much stimulation and in quick succession may lead to overwhelm and perhaps even burnout. Take the time to do simple yet rewarding things like having a long bath, booking yourself in for a treatment or simply getting lost in a good book and having an early night.
We’ve spent the last year learning how to implement boundaries to avoid the ever increased blurred lines between work and home life but as we ease out of lock-down don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to things you’re not yet comfortable with. Try not to take things personally when you come up against a difference in opinion, take a moment to think about how you want to respond, be clear on how you feel and articulate what you need.
The return to something that resembles a pre-covid life will be a slow and gradual one, so take things slowly and go at your own pace. If something doesn’t feel right or you’ve made a work commitment you’ve changed your mind about, communicate this and be bold in implementing boundaries so that you can avoid burnout and overwhelm. Have patience with the process, with others around you and most importantly with yourself. This is a marathon not a race.
How do YOU feel about life after lockdown? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up in our DMs!
About your author
Lara Sheldrake is a business mentor, consultant and Founder at Found & Flourish. Lara writes and speaks on the topics of entrepreneurship, motherhood and social media for business. She also hosts the Bossing It podcast, aimed at empowering the next generation of female founders in the UK.
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