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Caz sits in her garden on a sunny day, hugging her dog and smiling.

How I’m feeling as lockdown starts lifting again

Caz Makin

Restrictions are starting to lift once again from a lockdown. I’m really excited but I’m also anxious about it.

I like my little life of pottering, small dog walks and my garden. Will I once again feel a bit left behind in life’s great rat race? Will Facebook be flooded with things everyone is doing better and more than me? What if restrictions lifting once again remind me of the stuff I just cannot physically do..?

But I’m thinking that, you know, I might just carry on my lockdown life.

The things that make me happy

I love seeing my mum. I love seeing my friends. I love to take my dog for a little trundle when the legs allow. I’d like to rejoin my swimming group when it opens.

I want to carry on cooking from scratch (MS allowing). Spot of gardening (MS allowing).

As I’m thinking this and writing it, I’m looking at the words and actually seeing that absolutely everything in my life that I do, is MS allowing. It really does dictate my life, although I try to pretend otherwise.

And this is all the more reason to do the things that bring the most pleasurable experiences.

Little moments of joy

I don’t mean getting plastered on vino..! (Maybe every once in a while though..?) It’s those little things that in the moment are just a delight. And make you feel good and proud for accomplishing them.

Potting a flower and watching it grow, brings me great joy. Cooking a recipe from scratch - if it turns out wonderfully, then I’m so pleased and happy.

If I manage to take my dog out for a walk (with help from the trusted Zimmer) then I feel proud.

If I’m super fatigued and feel like I can’t do anything at all, but I manage to have a shower and maybe apply fake tan or actually dry my hair with a hairdryer, then I feel more positive about my appearance.

If I’m stuck in bed all day, I read instead of bingeing on Netflix. (Not all the time because who can resist the odd binge of Peaky Blinders or The Walking Dead, or whatever floats your boat?) But when I read I feel I’ve learned something valuable that has either taken me away completely or has enriched my soul. And I’ve educated myself a little more.

Acceptance and love

It’s so important to love yourself, and accept and embrace your life.

I’m going to stay off social media. (Apart from when I write - I like to share with friends to gauge their reactions and thoughts before I pass on to the MS blog, because all of us, MS or not, get bogged down with things at times.)

I’m much more contented with my little world when I stop making comparisons.

When I concentrate on what makes me happy in my world, I feel so very blessed and my soul is filled with gratitude of all the amazing things I do have. I feel secure in my world. Is it easy..? No. Is it hard at times...? Yes.

But when I’m in tune with the universe and my people and nature, you won’t meet a happier person.

So, post lockdown, I’m concentrating on me. Self love. Self care. Being kind. Sharing. Caring. Giving my all. This can all contribute to my better mental health and being able to stay positive even when the chips are down.

Changing the way I talk to myself

Words and thoughts are powerful. If I’m thinking bad things about myself, talking about myself in a derogatory manner, and thinking and speaking about others in an unpleasant way, it sets the tone of my mind. Not in a good way. Just using the words in my head differently makes a huge difference to my thought process.

We’re not in control of what happens to us at times, but we are in control of how we react and deal and approach things.

I try not to label myself with ‘I am’ statements. Instead of saying to myself ‘I’m weak and not coping,’ I try and say ‘I’m feeling a little fragile at the moment and I could use some help.’

Why not have a go? Before you know it, you could get into the habit of finding a positive for a negative! It works for me and I’m a much shinier person when I’m not dulling my light.

Love to everyone when lockdown lifts. I will enjoy having more freedom along with new found respect and joy for all that I do have.