Life in Lockdown – be kind to yourself

Julie Lord from Magenta Financial Planning

Worrying about the virus, our health, our jobs, our families and friends is bad enough without also feeling guilty about not being as productive as usual and putting pressure on ourselves to do more.

The lockdown has spawned an increase in comparison culture, especially as we are all using technology and social media more.

When we look at our friends and family apparently using lockdown to master new skills and reinvent themselves as artists, bakers, fitness fanatics and DIY specialists, it is difficult not to feel a bit envious and/or inadequate.

We might feel an expectation to be more productive or creative, but the last thing we want is any extra pressure on top of everything else – perhaps we should be considering this time more like a holiday from the expectations of daily life instead and give ourselves a break.

One thing we can do, is to stop comparing ourselves to others. We have written blogs before about why comparing apparent financial success is pointless and demoralising and Corona comparisons are just as dangerous, breeding anxieties about not being good enough or not doing enough.

When we see someone’s gorgeous house on Zoom, their delicious food on Instagram and their daily workouts posted on Facebook, it is perfectly natural to compare these with our own version of lockdown. But it is important to remember that the things we like to showcase on social media tend to be the best aspects of life, and the version of ourselves that we deem most perfect. 

We all have a natural fear of missing out (FOMO) but we must remind ourselves that what people showcase on social media is not necessarily “real life” and if you really must look at social media, try to only follow accounts that make you feel good about yourself. 

It is a great opportunity to embrace JOMO (the joy of missing out) where you don’t feel compelled to accept every social invitation for fear of losing your social standing and no longer care about missing “important “notifications on your ‘phone.

Use this pause in time to concentrate on what makes you happy and what you are grateful for. For instance, being able to feel the sun on your skin, being able to hear the clock ticking, the birds singing (they seem to be extra loud now!) being able to hear the trees blowing in the wind outside, the smile of a precious child — the simplest things that we have in life, it doesn’t have to be anything massive. 

When you really think about what makes you happy, it will naturally attract more things in your life that you are satisfied with, that you feel grateful for, and it will help you feel better.

Maybe one day the lockdown will be recalled as “The Great Realisation” or some other sobriquet which describes how we all came to remember that the valuable things in life don’t need a lot of money.

In the meantime, do be kind to yourselves – don’t expect too much and don’t compare your lockdown experiences with others. Do concentrate on your own happiness and consider what is most valuable to you and your family.

If you are feeling sad or overwhelmed by this whole business, do feel free to call us for a chat – it won’t last forever but we are always here to help where we can.