15 Life coach lessons for lockdown
Feeling the burn of a year of pandemic life and the tsunami of anxiety that comes with it? Resilience is harder to find than that 59th Zoom link of the day. We turned to life coach expert Charlotte Ferrier for how to not just survive - but thrive - during lockdown.
Charlotte Ferrier is a Mindset and Embodiment Coach and a Rapid Transformational Therapist (ooer, fancy!) based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.
She’s donned her superhero life coach cape to bring you a brilliant tool-kit of hacks to deal with the anxiety and pressures of lockdown life.
Charlotte says: “Covid has triggered anxiety for many people in some form or another. If you are someone who has been affected, it’s important to recognise that you are not alone. These feelings are normal but they are not unmanageable.
“Anxiety and control are very much related. We are living in a global pandemic but it’s important to realise that there are certain things we can control in our lives and certain things we can’t. If we can get ourselves in the right mindset to differentiate between the two, then we can take positive action.
“Hard as it may seem – keep reminding yourself this will pass and our lives will go on. You will be ok! In the meantime there are things we can do to relieve stress and anxiety, incorporate them as soon as you recognise symptoms creeping in. This way you are mastering your emotions rather than them mastering you.”
- Build awareness around what stress actually does Be mindful about the effects that stress can have on your body and immune system. If you find yourself in a panic about a particular issue, take some deep breaths and ground yourself – check out my Facebook Page or Youtube channel for free guidance. Try and step outside of the situation and become an observer, so that you can distance yourself, pause and take action. When your body is in a stressed state, it’s difficult to make objective decisions and a rational plan.
- We are not our thoughts We have almost 90,000 thoughts a day – many of them subconscious, it’s important to give your own supercomputer a break to reset. Thoughts can start to take control. This is where anxiety can run riot if we don’t check in with what’s going on and take back control of ourselves. For example, starting the day with 5 – 10 minutes of mindfulness, meditation or Yoga Nidra to help you get out of your looping thoughts.
- If one style doesn’t do it for you – then don’t give up. Give something else a try. Meditation can reset your nervous system so you can take positive steps. I’m offering weekly Tuesday evening live meditations on my Facebook page, where you can give it a go, or download my free meditation here.
- Move your body to shift the energy Physical exercise is a wonderful relief for anxiety. It can take your mind off a situation, focus on something else, and reset your nervous system. Dancing is a fantastic way to shift energy, have fun and involve the whole family. See Muddy’s 11 Best Online Dance Workouts here.
- Try to avoid toxic life props Caffeine and alcohol usually intensify symptoms of anxiety. Even if drinking alcohol seems to help treat it with caution, because over time, the symptoms usually worsen. Be mindful of self-medicating of any form, be it wine, food or phones. Dependency almost always creeps in. What starts off as a stress relief often ends up as toxicity. Put some boundaries in place and be honest with yourself.
- Get a back up plan. It’s understandable you may be concerned about your job. The reality is that nothing is sure in the job market right now. Again, we cannot control these external factors, and when we worry about it, the situation gets worse. Looking after your wellbeing is a good place to start. Try to develop a sense of calm using some of the techniques above, and then get clear about your back up plan. Spending some time thinking about what you would do in an ideal world and building up some additional skills that really excite you is a great way of putting this energy into a positive outlet.
- What you focus on expands If you concentrate on personal growth, you will have less time for worry. You will be developing skills that interest you, whilst working on a backup plan for your future. Think about skills that are transferable and that can be adapted in a changing market. Look at Covid success stories and consider how you can apply your best assets to a new world.
Join my Rock Your Life Purpose Facebook group for inspiration about how to do this. One of my clients came out of the first lockdown with a diploma from Stanford University and an internationally recognised CV – all without having left the house!
- Get creative Despite the frustration of being at home, it does provide us with an opportunity to explore new interests. Instead of watching TV every night, try doing a module or two of an interesting course or getting stuck into a new book which could expand your potential in a post-Covid world. Focus your attention on expansion – rather than contraction.
- Deal with the monotony of working from home Being stuck at home, can get really “samey”. Break up the day. Start the day with some form of exercise as this gets you in a good head space. The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy that recommends you split your working day into 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break between each chunk. This way you are maximising your attention span but taking breaks from your computer. It’s a good way of checking in with children’s homeschooling to make sure they haven’t drifted off! Taking a proper break at lunchtime and getting outside gets oxygen to your brain, if you have children to get them out too. Even if this is only for 20 minutes it will really help.
- Physically section off your day Having a bath after work and before supper helps to make a break between work and home life. It’s a time where you can let go of the day, relax and take some time out for you. It’s a chance to change clothes, put on some music and change the vibe in the house. It also helps to reset your mood, so you are less likely to reach for a glass of wine.
- Create some space for your relationship. With the monotony of WFH and no break from children, it’s not surprising that relationships may suffer. Creating space for yourself is really important. Yes you are allowed. Even a walk alone for 15 minutes will give you a chance to reset. Remember, you may be more irritated with your partner at the moment, but they are probably irritated by you too … It’s natural. We were not designed to spend 24/7 with the same person under one roof, dealing with all of the above! Rule number 1: don’t take it personally. Everyone is trying their best. Try mixing things up a bit. A date night at home is a great opportunity to make an effort. We may not be able to eat out but we can definitely create sexy dinners. Oysters don’t take any cooking at all and are mixed with something other than tracksuit pants – hey presto!
- Reach out to friends and family Don’t forget to phone your friends and family at home and abroad – it’s easy to forget that you can connect with loved ones far away by video. You can do this whilst you are cooking or spend the evening reaching out to others instead of your partner. It gives everyone some space and a chance to offload elsewhere.
- Use this time to develop relationships with your children. Feeling disconnected is big right now and children are feeling this. As parents, the pressure rests on us because we need to be their friends, their teacher and their parents. Breaking the day up really helps. Getting out at lunchtime and restricting screen time are obvious solutions, but I’ve found that starting a new hobby, like Warhammer for my 11 year old, has been great. We also started playing Scrabble after supper which is really fun as well as keeping us connected. Really spending time with them before bed and not rushing bed time is very important. They have so much they want to say and they need to be heard. Also, it’s fun when you switch your mindset from bedtime story to chats with my buddy. What’s more important: Netflix or a happy child?
Don’t beat yourself up. If you find you can’t stick to your plan – don’t beat yourself up. Just check in with your intention and start again. Overloading just sets yourself up for failure. Start small and build it up. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would your best friend.
- Most important of all – remember to have fun. You can do it! We may not be able to go out but with a little imagination you can create another world in your home. From discos, to fancy dress dinners, to themed evenings, to family games – try it all out. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Be grateful for the smallest things that you have in your life right now and you’ll find yourself starting to appreciate the present more and more.
Charlotte’s Wonderful Wellbeing Rituals
7am: I wake up and meditate for around 15 minutes
7.30: I have a cup of lemon Yogi tea and either journal or read from one of the stack of books by my bed
8 am: Quantum Flow practice
8.30am: A green smoothie chased with a coffee
9am I start work once my son is logged onto his homeschooling. We have good days and we have some less good days. We go with the flow.
12-1 We try to get out for a walk in the forest or go to the skatepark where at all possible. My children have different lunch times but the fresh air really helps all of us! We’ll usually have soup when we get back. It ticks all the boxes – cosy and healthy.
1-4pm Back to work. I’ve got so much going on at the moment but I love it, so time just flies. I drink lots of tea, so I have a cupboard full of various green teas, organic builders and raw cacao.
4pm If my energy levels have dipped Imake a raw cacao with hemp milk. This is a great alternative to coffee and a brilliant afternoon lift which is packed with nutrients. Yum! I’ll switch my infrared sauna on around now so that it’s hot by the time I finish work around
5pm I finish work and have a sauna, then a shower or a bath and then another little meditation time to give my mind a rest. It really breaks up the day and I feel fresh and reset for the family.
6.30pm Supper time. My partner and I take it in turns. He likes roasts in the week, but I’m more of a fish fan, so we alternate and then have a really snazzy supper around Thursday to have something to look forward to.
7-8pm this is where we try and play a game like Scrabble as a family. We all enjoy it and it’s good connection time.
8pm I sometimes have evening zoom calls or meetings, otherwise it’s a film or a juicy book in bed.
10pm Bed time – yay! I love going to bed.
Charlotte Ferrier works online with clients locally and worldwide. For help with issues such anxiety, confidence, abundance blocks, finding purpose, weight issues, addiction and more contact www.charlotteferrier.com. Follow her on Facebook for weekly live mediations.