Easing the Anxiety of Post Lockdown Life
by Von Wager
HANDS UP WHO ELSE IS TERRIFIED AT THE PROSPECT OF NORMALITY POST LOCKDOWN?
It has been dawning on me that the catalyst for many of my recent ‘mini breakdowns’ (shall we say), seem to be routed from a general feeling that I am no longer in control of so many extraneous variables in my little world. Truth be told, we really can’t control anything in life and it’s usually when we try, that shit starts to go wrong! This global pandemic that has seemingly gone on for what feels like forever, has most certainly reinforced this for me.
Lots of us during lockdown have had to try and cope with the loss of our jobs leaving many of us creative types in a pure identity crisis, as our work is often so inherently attached to a sense of self, a sense of belonging; often defining our identity. Some industries like entertainment, will still be waiting on the 4th of July for their normality to kick in, but the majority of people (in the UK at least) will be going back to their old lives and routines.
There is this sense of looming anxiety for so many people that I’ve been chatting to, regarding the uncertainty of the reopening of the world in a matter of weeks. Last week in particular seemed rough for loads of us, myself included; some of us know what’s next for them (going back to what they always did) some have no clue when they’ll be back to work, others don’t want to go back, and some have even lost their careers altogether.
Feeling like everyone is snapping back to reality and you’re being left behind is a harrowing thought. Social media, the news, and even chatting to your friends WILL make you doubt your current situation right now no matter what it is you’re doing, unless you’re one of those awesome humans who really isn’t phased by much. The past four months however, will have influenced you to change in some way, whether you see it now or not.
Lockdown for me meant that yes, my job as an international performer completely disappeared overnight, BUT on the flip side I got to set up my OnlyFans, work on the awesome Get Your Bits Out, as well as develop future projects - all for myself. My life changed immeasurably, days that were once filled with untold amounts of travelling and packing and unpacking, are now spent self shooting, blog writing, creating strategies and developing new networks of friends and colleagues.
Whilst this time has been really unsettling, it’s also the first time in a LONG time where I feel calm, and have been able to focus on me. I’ve also been able to realise how many things I did pre lockdown that were bad for me, as well as the things I was doing to please others, even when those people were sometimes not good for me. I realise how many parties I went to that I didn’t really want to attend, how many jobs I said yes to that were bad for my mental health, how many times I did things just to try and fit in - and honestly, to feel liked or to have shit to post about on Instagram.
I’ve really been trying to navigate the panic, as in find out what it is and where it comes from, as these feelings come like waves and they’re intense as F*** and often overwhelming. I believe that if you feel this too, you need to be asking yourself ‘what is it I want out of life?” Or ‘what is it that makes me happy?”. I think that some of us have had time to make changes that we’re scared we won’t be able to keep up post lockdown, but if you’ve made a change that has dramatically improved your wellbeing, be it not working in your regular job, taking long walks, or starting your own at home business (sexy content creating or not) KEEP ON DOING IT!
I think lots of us are terrified that going back to our old way of life, feels almost like we’re going backward, and of course I want to see my friends and move around freely as much as the next person, but I hope so very much to keep up new habits. My relationship to money has 360’d, my appreciation for my my few close friends and family, my intense and ever-growing love for my partner, cooking rather than ordering in so freely - simple things can be upheld so easily that will make us feel like we’re still progressing.
Feeling like we have less time to nurture ourselves will be challenging for lots of people, a lot of us who have started nailing sexy content creation during lockdown will also be worried about not being able to keep up their routines. You might struggle to keep up your new exercise habit or meditation, or have less time out to listen to podcasts - but If it has made positive change to your everyday life you can KEEP ON DOING IT and stop doing the things that weren’t.
I can guarantee you that there are so many things that you used to do in your day that waste your time, and if you get into really good habits of organising your day, perhaps not going out as often, or waking up an hour earlier you can and will still be able to fit it in. When I first decided to take on a new business venture during a time when I had a full time job, I became the queen of scheduling and pre-planning to make sure I worked effectively AND had the time to do the things that I enjoyed.
It’s ok to accept that a new way of life might be better for us, its ok to move on and its also totally OK to put yourself and your needs first. Lockdown has meant we’ve been able to self indulge, to find out what it is we really like doing, for some that’s exactly what they were doing before which is AWESOME but for lots of us, we’re left with a sense of unease because we might not be sure what’s next but we know deep down we want change.
Change is so hard, but sometimes when it’s forced upon us we have an opportunity to reflect on bad habits, routines or jobs we might have been stuck in. I’m going to try to not be afraid of keeping up the changes I’ve made and realise how much happier some of them have made me.
Don’t feel pressure to keep doing the same thing you’ve always done, if you’ve discovered something you LOVE doing during this time, like sexy content creating, or macramé, keep doing it! Start an Etsy and sell the stuff you love making! If you’re content creating and are doing well with your OnlyFans (or other site) keep it up, make time that is for YOU and your side hustle - you never know it might become your main hustle!
Don’t assume - NEVER ever assume others are happy leading the perfect lives just because you see them flaunting it on Instagram. Everyone has had it tough, some have made this time work in their favour, and some have had a really really difficult time. Unless you are being honest and chatting to people about their time, don’t assume their story. Stick to working on you and WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE!
Ask for more - Yes the global pandemic means a LOT of job loss, a lot of redundancies and a lot of scary change, but this time can also be used to negotiate what you want out of your role. It might be an opportunity to take voluntary redundancy, perhaps negotiate a new position where you can work less hours (for sexy content creating perhaps!) - just see this as a two way street for employee and employer to get what it is YOU want.
KEEP IT UP - I have said this now about 60 times in this blog, keep up all the things that have bought you joy. Perhaps that’s a slower pace of life, Zoom calling your nan, or making money that you were not making previously with an OnlyFans - if its made you happy, just keep doing it!
Above all else, remember the question ‘what makes me happy?’ Keep asking yourself that and know that just because lockdown is over, we can always work towards doing whatever the f*** it is we want to be doing with hard work and determination (and planning, lot’s of planning and Excel sheets!)
If you’re struggling in any way with content creation, social media strategy, confidence, or navigating what’s next for you please don’t hesitate to get in touch! All Bits Out Ambassadors now offer free consultations and we love to chat to you about your stories and your journey!
GOOD luck, you got this!