As we emerge from past restrictions, take a moment to relish rediscovered freedoms, suggests writer Judy Darley. Why not take a moment to drift away with this guided visualisation?
Most of us have experienced strong emotions over the past year and a half. As a semblance of normality reasserts itself, pausing to consider those feelings can help you to become centred and prepared to embrace the changes and opportunities as they arise.
This is a visualisation you can ease into wherever you are, even if it’s only for a few concentrated minutes. Whether you are lying, sitting or standing, simply make sure you are comfortable and unlikely to be bumped into. Allow your vision to defocus and turn inwards. Tune out of any sounds surrounding you. If you’re unlikely to disturb others, it may help to hum or make a soft droning noise under your breath.
Mull over any loss or sadness that has arisen during the pandemic, and allow yourself to grieve, whether for a person, a job, or simply a friendship that hasn’t made it through the times of social distancing. If you experienced loneliness, acknowledge this, but do not wallow. Recall incidences of beauty or happiness, such as a ray of sunlight you may have noticed, a particular flower blooming, birdsong on traffic-less mornings, the delight of finishing a work meeting, closing your laptop and already being at home, or the comradery of neighbours making an effort to help one another through these difficult months.
Breathe in deeply and recall the small shifts in aroma that came about as road congestion lessened. Did you become aware of the smell of green things growing, a neighbour baking banana bread or the sweet fragrance of rain splashing onto dusty earth after a dry spell? Think of the silky and comforting textures of your favourite skin lotion and pyjamas, or a loved one’s cheek next to yours. Bring to mind the cathartic vigour of striking saucepans with wooden spoons.
Think of any shifts in your priorities, and any decisions these changes may have led to, whether that’s moving to the countryside or opting to embark on a daily walk soon after dawn. Reflect on your physical and psychological health, and marvel at your body’s ability to heal and recover. Celebrate the flexibility and strength of your muscles and tendons, even if you know these could improve, and admire the resilience of your mind seeking to surmount and perhaps even find the positive in any challenges that have come your way.
Ponder any new pastimes you have introduced into your life during lockdown, and whether there are any you will retain as life opens up again. Allow yourself a buzz of excitement as you picture the people, places and activities you have missed, and any reunions still to come.
Alongside your re-emerging sense of liberation, make a promise to yourself to continue to value the quietness and peace that has brought you solace. As our lives grow busier once more, commit to finding some time to sit and listen to nature. Allow your thoughts to ebb and flow. Enjoy the simple pleasure of focusing on breathing in and out deeply and calmly before resuming your day’s tasks.
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