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Holding our breath!

Is it just me or does it feel like we have all collectively been holding our breath over the last year? And now that we are able to breathe again it is making us all feel a bit wobbly?

During these last, extraordinary, 12 months or so, we have been on high alert (and rightly so): have I got a mask? What do the rules say about meeting up? Are you in my bubble? When did I last wash my hands? Am I socially distanced? Is this COVID secure? We have been limited as to what we can do, with whom and when. The figures have assaulted us on a daily basis – check this map to see how many COVID cases are in your postcode, what’s you’re R number, how many deaths, how many new cases! It has felt relentless and at times frankly, overwhelming. (I stopped watching any news channels at all in about May 2020 – and I still avoid them now!). It has felt like the government has taken over the role of ‘parent’, telling us exactly what we can and can’t do, who we can see, where we can go, we have not really had to make any decisions (apart from what shall we have for dinner) and we have definitely not been making plans (after the Christmas shambles), we have been cocooned in our separate ‘bubbles’ safe and protected by greater powers!

So, I suppose as things relax, as we can collectively breath ‘normally’ (or the ‘new normal’ whatever that is?) again it’s not at all surprising that we might all be feeling a little bit wobbly. We can tentatively make plans, we are allowed to meet friends and family, obviously within the current rules. But we remain wary and I wonder if we have all forgotten the art of decision making! We usually feel wobbly when things change, or we feel out of control, in this instance it’s like we are feeling wobbly because we are being given some control back and that could potentially be dangerous! When we had no choice, we may have moaned about it, but it was safe, now we have to make those decisions for ourselves we feel unsafe and it all feels a little daunting! We are unsure what to do for the best and what is safe or unsafe. I am struggling to remember what rules apply when, and to be honest, I’m half expecting them to change midway through anyway. I’m confused about the rules and can’t see the logic at times; why can 8000 people go to a football match but only 30 attend a funeral? Then I have to give myself a metaphorical shake – it will drive you mad trying to work out the logic and we have little or no control over the rules, so it becomes a frustrating and pointless exercise trying to make sense of them at times. We need to focus on the stuff that we can control and in doing that, we may find a sense of calm.

We need to take baby steps, one day at a time and be kind to ourselves. We all need to remember that none of us have ever lived through a global pandemic before and we are all learning, day by day, just trying our best and we may not always get it right.

Let’s all learn the art of breathing again in a calm, controlled way, slowly, let’s focus on that and eventually we will learn to feel safe again and learn to take back control, make our own decisions and be comfortable in the process.

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