Dealing with a lockdown: A lockdown does something to people. Consciously or unconsciously, people are busy daily with the news that is filled with the coronavirus. And understandably! The consequences of a (new) lockdown are huge.

For example, everyone is required to wear a mouth mask in public indoor spaces and is advised to work at home as much as possible (which in turn causes enough stress).

However, the blow to many independent entrepreneurs is even greater. Many entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry are watching with sad eyes how the hospitality industry is badly hit by a lockdown. Let’s face it: for years you have had a healthy business that you have run with good entrepreneurship and you are now powerless to watch the bottom of your wallet come into view. As if you were being beaten with your hands tied behind your back. You are powerless!

Why does the lockdown affect us so much?

It is not only the direct measures that are taking us, but indirectly something is happening to us. A lockdown affects our freedom, our autonomy.

Autonomy is about knowing who you are and being able and daring to act accordingly. A lockdown limits this and a lack of autonomy always causes stress. A lack of autonomy is also one of the main causes of burnout! No wonder that more burnouts are caused by the coronavirus.

As an entrepreneur, for example, you are now bound to your hands and feet. You can also do much less fun and enjoyable things with friends. A trip abroad is not an option at the moment and visiting parents of age requires a lot of caution.

So a lockdown limits your control over your life and that does something to us. That something causes stress, restlessness and all the physical complaints that result from that.

The question, of course, is: what can you do to preserve your autonomy within the measures in force?

Overtired because of the lockdown

Circle of influence

First of all, it is wise to understand very well that whatever you think or do about the coronavirus, the national measures are outside your sphere of influence. In Dutch this means: You don’t do anything about it. Of course, you do have your own responsibility in this respect. This is expressed in the fact that you wear a mouth mask and wash your hands regularly to prevent further spread.

The circle of influence and the circle of involvement is an idea developed by Steven Covey. It consists of 2 circles: a circle of influence inside and a circle of involvement outside.

The influence you have on a national lockdown is very small. You have no influence on it, you don’t do anything about it. So the lockdown is outside your circle of influence, where the circle of involvement is.

The circle of involvement shows that you are involved, that you have to take responsibility, but that you cannot influence it.

In other words: worrying about the lockdown is the same as worrying about the weather: it doesn’t change anything. You would do well then to make the best of it to regain control of your life. On a rainy day this could mean that you will have fun doing activities indoors. With a lockdown you could think of activities that fit within the set measures. For a hospitality entrepreneur, for example, this would be taking care of take-away meals.

Keep moving

It is very important not to sit down. Many people feel ‘crippled’ by a lockdown. The fact that these feelings are there is understandable, of course, but it is very important to keep moving physically and mentally.

Why? One of the reasons is that persistent negative thoughts and stress can cause your brain to shrink. This reduces your common sense. Don’t worry: this process can be reversed and you will recover from it. One of the best ways to do this in a healthy way is by moving.

Through movement you create hormones that make you feel positive and happy. At the same time it reduces stress and makes you mentally and physically more resilient.

Maintain a healthy structure

Many people who suffer from coronary stress find it difficult to remain in control of their lives and remain autonomous. A simple solution to this is to maintain a healthy day structure. A MAE schedule is going to help you with this.

MAE stands for: Morning, noon, evening. (morning, afternoon, evening)

Put simply, this means that you make a schedule for your mornings, your afternoons and your evenings. Don’t overload them, keep room for unexpected things but above all have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, open your curtains and live!

How to survive a lockdown?

Accepting a lockdown

As we said earlier, fighting a lockdown does not make sense because you are not doing anything about it. The sooner you accept a lockdown, the sooner you can make it a success. Acceptance gives you peace of mind and from this peace of mind you can make healthy choices.

Understand the behaviour of others, but do not participate in it.

Also understand that there are people who do not read this article. Understand people who have a high degree of anxiety due to the lockdown. People who find it difficult to put their legs under their lives and make the best of it. In addition, there are, of course, people who are very hard hit by the lockdown. You can therefore prepare yourself for strong reactions, or very emotional ones.

Understand their situation, but do not go along with them. If you want to help someone else with something, you will have to have the space in your own energy to provide that help. So take care of yourself in the first place. You don’t do this by taking the suffering of others on your neck, but by a healthy mental and physical resilience.

Limit your search on the internet and news sites

Every news site heads off with the corona-news. The news is endless and if you want, you can literally fill your whole day with it. To allow your mind to rest too and to give yourself the chance to recover from these influences, you should limit your search on the internet and news sites.

If you have trouble with this, you would do well to look at your own situation from a distance: Would you get the most important news when you watch the news for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and evening? Would you? Then limit yourself to this time and make sure you are not overwhelmed by all the news.

We call this self-care and self-protection. By constantly dealing with these annoying messages you exhaust yourself and make dealing with a lockdown many times more difficult!

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A lockdown causes unrest and more work (home schooling, for example)

Where a lockdown was welcomed by some in the beginning (it gave them peace and quiet) many have noticed the negative edges.

For example, many parents suddenly have the task of being their own child’s teacher or tutor in addition to all their work. Of course you do this with love and try to do your best, but it also quickly takes up several hours a day! These hours simply add to your existing schedule, which creates extra pressure and staffing.

Whatever your personal situation, you realise that a lockdown causes changes and can therefore lead to extra pressure.

What opportunities does the lockdown offer?

An autonomous course of action requires us to look at the opportunities offered by a lockdown. For example, there are many who have taken this time to do things that they have put off doing for a long time.

Living by day and putting things into perspective

The lockdown also offers opportunities for personal reflection. For example: in the coaching I do with people, I often tell them to live by the day because you can’t control the future. The corona virus and the accompanying lockdown underline this thought. Nobody could have predicted the impact of the coronavirus. The consequences of this were incalculable at the beginning of 2020. Few could have predicted a second lockdown.

The wise life lesson from this? When you have a good time today and have been able to plan a little bit tomorrow, enjoy, be satisfied with what you have and have a good time with the people you love. After all, these are the things that are really important in your life!

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