Where Is AV?

Almost 7 months ago, I wrote a blog about BV-DV-AV.   It talked about 3 phases of time; Before Virus, During Virus and After Virus.

As I discussed in the article, exactly when ‘AV’ would come, and what it would look like, was an unknown. For a couple of months, we started to experience what we thought was our ‘new normal’, and for a while, I thought we were heading into ‘AV’. All shops, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and other establishments were open, wearing a mask became second nature, and we were glad to be able to see family and friends again, even though we weren’t allowed to hug them, or even shake their hand. Some workplaces even started to open, and offices began to welcome back their work families.

And then, as we entered Autumn, we were taken backwards. As ‘AV’ appeared to be within sight, we were pulled back, at what felt like lightning speed, to ‘DV’. Lockdown 2.0 seemed to be on the horizon. Indeed, Wales and Scotland entered what was referred to a ‘circuit breaker’ phase, which was lockdown by another name. Within weeks, it was England’s turn, and since early November, we have been in lockdown 2.0.

There has been positive news about vaccines in recent weeks, but that news has been quickly followed by reminders of the reality of the rollout programme. The length of time it’ll take, the realistic start date, and of course, the elephant in the room; “what happens if many people don’t take it….”.

And so, as we enter December, it seems ‘DV’ is here to stay for much longer than we perhaps thought it ever would. Lockdown 2.0 is due to end on 2nd December, replaced by an enhanced tier system, which brings new restrictions, broken down by area. Workers are encouraged to remain working at home if they can, and we’re told we’ll have a ‘freedom pass’ for Christmas, but that too comes with a stark warning. A Christmas hug could end in new year catastrophe, so it’s less of a freedom pass and more of an ‘at-your-own-risk pass’.

So, what does the ongoing ‘DV’ world mean for us, and how do we ‘keep calm and carry on’ as the saying goes?

In my opinion, one of the tricks is to have a solid foundation of self-worth, and to keep practicing a positive outlook. As I said in another previous blog, we need to transform our thinking from “being stuck at home” to “being safe at home”.

Here are some tips I’ve put together, along with some context of how you might apply it during this ongoing ‘DV’ phase:

  1. Identify and challenge negative beliefs - you can’t control what’s happening around you due to the pandemic, so instead, let go of the negatives, and focus on the positives. Accept that it can be lonely working from home, but focus on the positive of not having that long daily commute to the office, and when you’re lonely, pick up the phone. I bet the person you call has also had a moment of feeling lonely and would welcome a call as much as you would enjoy making it.
  2. Build positive relationships, and avoid negative ones - avoid people and situations that drag you down. If the news causes you to worry and become depressed, avoid it. Perhaps tune in once a week to stay up to date, and for the other 6 days, use the time you’d normally watch the news to do something positive; go for a walk, read a book, or call a friend.
  3. Give yourself a break! - I don’t just mean a physical break, like a walk or time away from the computer, I mean don’t be so hard on yourself. Accept that it’s ok to not be ok all the time. You don’t have to perfect and feel good about yourself all the time. The trick is to accept you’re not having a good day, park it, and not let it affect your tomorrow.
  4. Improve your physical health - ok, so it may sound like a cliché, but looking after your physical self, really does has a positive effect on your inner self. The trick with this one, is to make it an expression of yourself, not a condition. For example, don’t go out for a walk because you “have to do 10,000 steps a day”, do it because you want to enjoy a walk. If you don’t achieve 10,000 steps, it’s ok…
  5. Learn to say no - don’t try and prove yourself by saying ‘yes’ to everyone. Value yourself and value your own time.

Think of a solid foundation of self-worth like being a tree with robust roots. The pandemic storm will blow hard, and might even bring a torrential downpour in the form of lockdowns and restrictions on our freedom. However, even with all of these factors battering our branches, our roots keep us standing firm. Eventually the storm will ease, the rain will stop, and we’ll be able to enter a new season of ‘AV’, which will hopefully bring us some clear skies and sunshine. Before we know it, our branches will be blossoming again!