Wowie, isn’t life just a bit overwhelming at the moment?

Anyone else just feeling like life suddenly picked up speed incredibly quickly? All those cancelled plans over the last year are suddenly trying to resurface and it feels like everything is happening all at once.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to do more things again.

Last week I was able to take my Dad on a surprise canoeing trip for his Birthday. A few months ago the possibility of doing that would’ve been unimaginable: I wasn’t in my parents household bubble, getting a minibus full of people to the start location would’ve been somewhat illegal, and well it’s my Dad’s birthday in August so would have been very silly to do the trip months beforehand.

It’s great we can jump back into life and activities now, but I have to admit keeping up has been difficult.

I’ve had a lot of anxiety around the pandemic for many reasons, which as life begins to move quickly again has sometimes had me feeling left behind.

While others have been leaping up and going to nightclubs, I’ve been saying no to plans more than ever.

To begin with, I was encouraging myself to go to events but found myself hiding anxiety from my friends whilst I was there and instead I was feeling relieved when I made it back home. This anxiety mostly stemmed around intrusive thoughts of ‘What if I have to isolate after this?’.

But this blog post isn’t a moan about me feeling uncomfortable about going to large events, it’s a reflection of being proud of knowing my limits and when to say no for the sake of my mental health.

Saying no to things after being spooked about from a tough time during self-isolation is giving me the chance to find my groove again.

And as isolation rules are changing I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea of pushing myself back out into the world.

I’ve certainly not been a hermit but attending things with headcounts more than the fingers on my hands when for so long we’ve been restricted to seeing so few little people has been a jump I wasn’t prepared for.

For some people, this is a jump they’ve been longing for yet for me it came around quite abruptly and adjusting to it has been challenging.

Thankfully I think most of my friends have understood my apprehensions and my decisions to decline invites to events on the larger side, whilst I wait for covid isolation rules to change and my double jab to be 14 days effective.

For me this is as of Saturday the 21st August, so yay as you’re reading this I’m now all ‘vaxed’ up.

That’s not to say that I’m suddenly going to become party mad and abandon all form of social distancing, it just means that some of the anxiety around larger events are removed so hopefully I should be able to actually enjoy them without the constant though of; ‘Oh no I’m going to have to isolate from this’ – this was not a rational thought to have when just having a small chilled social distanced movie night at a friend’s house.

For those of you who have also been feeling a little left behind, whether that’s not being ready to travel, or go clubbing, or even enter a coffee shop, this is for you.

It’s good to know your boundaries and now some of the fears are being removed, when you are ready you can begin to build up to it again.

We aren’t being left behind, we are just listening to what we need that is right by us.

I felt like I had taken a step forward, but isolation knocked me back two steps and so I haven’t been ready to go back to where I was pre isolating but I’m taking it at my own pace without launching back into it.

Saying that, I did have to push myself a bit more yesterday.

It took a lot more rationalising and building myself up than I’d care to admit to attend a wedding reception yesterday evening, but I am so glad I went.

 I kept telling myself that this was a one time event to celebrate the most lovely couple and this wasn’t something I could not let my anxiety force me from missing.

I’m so happy that I was able to a step forward by going to this event for a couple hours, but doing it at a level I was comfortable with (aka. Avoiding the bar when it was crowded and keeping away from the dancefloor).

It was definitely overwhelming at first but I reminded myself that , for me, I took the covid risks I needed to take and allowed myself to enjoy catching up with people I haven’t seen in far too long. Hopefully things like this will start to feel more normal as time goes on.

I guess the message of this blog is that you’re not alone in feeling left behind or like you can’t keep up, but also that if you have friends who are not responding to messages and not coming out, it might be that they feel a bit overwhelmed by this increasing pace of life.

Keep safe and lots of love to you all x