The world returns to 'normal'...?

This week I've noticed activity ramping up for when restrictions begin to ease...

Tickets on sale for Christmas events.

'Huggers' describing that they're desperate to hug everyone in sight, when they're allowed to.

Party plans for missed birthdays, weddings, anniversaries.

Dreams of going 'out out', casting aside the stretchy loungewear from zoom get-togethers in favour of something more glitzy.

Talk of favourite pubs, restaurants, and live music.

Passport applications and holiday adverts.

Sports fans keen to get back to a more active lifestyle, gyms, clubs, and spectating as well.

Seeking work after being stuck at home.

It's also a year since the first lockdown in the UK, and a year since I first noticed COVID symptoms. I still feel the effects, especially fatigue. Perhaps you or someone you know has been directly affected by the virus?

And now... as the world moves forward, what does this mean we could be experiencing, which we haven't for a while, whether we feel ready or not...?

Crowded places.

Personal space suddenly being inhabited when we're used to at least a metre space, usually two.

Traffic from people flocking to popular places they haven't been able to visit for a while.

A more hectic routine again?

(Well-intended) pressure to gather with groups of friends and family.

Expectations that 'everyone' will want the same things we do, in the same ways we plan to do them.

Assumptions that once the majority of people have been vaccinated, the risks are virtually eliminated.

Shared workspaces opening up again, and some employers expecting an imminent return.

Responses to the restrictions easing could range from 'dive in, go for it, we're FREE at last!' to feelings of apprehension, anxiety, and perhaps not knowing what normal feels like any more.

An urgent desire to embrace all aspects of life and social interactions, or a cautious, slow and steady adjustment, carefully peeking out of the bubble of home to observe and process what's happening, before getting involved.

I think I'm a bit of both. There are some things I'll be off like a shot to do, like hugging my family (after checking they're ok with it) and going to the beach (very early in the morning, when it's quiet). And other things I feel like holding back and getting used to, like big events with crowds, or travelling. I've enjoyed a quiet, simple, slow pace of life and I'm not in any rush to change that.

And that's ok. I feel free to choose, and I respect that everyone has a unique perspective with reasons and positive intentions.

My words come from hope, realism, resilience, and a genuine belief that we can all adapt... and that we will, in the best way we know how.

And that won't be the same for everyone.

It's an invitation to choose, to adjust at your own pace, and to say 'no' or 'not yet'. Or 'yes please!'. It's up to you.

It's an opportunity to be curious... to understand your own 'map of the world' and how other people's experiences and desires may be different... and be at peace with that.

Look out for a special events coming up over the next few weeks with me and Carolyn Murray to help you to find your own unique ways to adapt and adjust, with awareness, choice, resilience, and peace of mind.

Let's help each other to understand and be understood.

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