Why my introverted, highly sensitive self is thrilled with lockdown

You remember how confusing it was during the first weeks of the pandemic? Remember all the conflicting information popping up on the internet? All the gossip going around among friends and co-workers? Remember the rumors that the economy was going to shut down?

You already know how confused and worried you were during the first weeks of the pandemic — me, too.

You worried about toilet paper because people were buying out the toilet paper aisle — racks were empty. (But there was lots of food on the shelves — Didn’t people realize that if they didn’t have food they wouldn’t need toilet paper?)

Then, as time passed, the food aisles were almost cleaned out, too, except for cans of boiled peanuts and the canned fried onions for holiday greenbean casserole. I didn’t buy them, either.

People were sent home from work and told to stay there. Jobs were lost. Some people are WFH: people who work from home. Others became people who are working regular jobs but at home. That created its own version of mini-crisis as people everywhere adjusted to new routines and parents added home-schooling to their work load.

My experience wasn’t that huge.

  • I work partly at my therapy office and mostly at home, so the change in my routine wasn’t as shocking as many others’.
  • I’m staying busy. I work a bit. I write a lot.
  • I’ve also been keeping busy using my shutdown time to take some online marketing courses, gaining clarity and focus so I can be of better help. I’m in the last modules of a SmartBlogger.com course. I’m also learning how to create an online course. (Because sometimes people want a sample first, right? I do.)
  • My new website, HappyWomanHypnosis.com has been published and you’re reading it! Thank you!

The good part is that I had some ah-ha moments, and the most illuminating moment was realizing that since I couldn’t work in my office (shut down by the governor), I could stay home and rest. So I did. I bought books: non-fiction, self-help, work related, and even read some of them. I read lots of fiction. I lay on my back propped up on my bed. I even watched TV. (How many times can I watch the Bones series? Apparently — a lot.) I painted and created beautiful things. I put together a Pinterest.com list of crafts I want to make… someday, right?

Tweak your day-flow for efficiency, happiness and health

I’m staying busy. The big difference is that instead of sitting down and pushing through all my work like usual before the pandemic, enduring stiffness and pain, now I work for a couple of hours, then take a break. A real break where I stop what I’m doing, fix a cup of hot chocolate or tea, and lay down with a book. Or close my eyes for a yoga nidra nap.

I feed my soul by setting aside time for different creative activities and actually do it. I write, paint, draw, make pretty things. I’ve been making greeting cards for my family and friends’ birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s Day, holidays, sympathy cards, etc. I painted a new red guitar for my BF. It’s framed and on his dresser. (We have this inside joke where he says he wants a red guitar… He’s gotten key fobs, guitar pics, greeting cards, and my custom paintings.)

Just about anything is do-able when you have a plan

What can you do to create your own new-normal-day flow? Start with a list of

  • What you’ve been doing that you like doing
  • What you’ve been doing that you don’t like doing
  • Creative stuff you’d like to do more of
  • Active adventures like walking, hiking, biking, canoeing, tai chi, yoga, belly dance, Zumba, etc.

Now that you’ve got your list, think about ‘when’ you can plan to do those activities.

Plan your day-flow in efficient blocks that flow

You might want to plan your day in blocks. This isn’t a new idea, but it’s a sound one that works. Since I know my work load, preferences, and needs, I plan my day-blocks ahead of time, helping me stay on schedule while still making time for creative activities and outdoorsy adventures.

For example, I write for a couple of hours, then take a break. I work for other people for a couple of hours, then take a break. And so my day flows.

Being self-employed and in charge of my own time, it’s easy to overwork, so I have a steadfast rule that I stop working by 8 pm. The good part is that since I’m not tethered to the usual 8–5 work day in someone else’s office, I can be more flexible about my work schedule. If I need to take a couple of hours in the afternoon for appointments, creativity, or rest, I can work for a couple of hours in the early evening. (This would be different for someone with a family to feed, but that’s a whole different set-up to begin with.)

And that’s how my work gets done (bills get paid) and my soul gets fed. How can it get better than that?

Are you introverted and highly sensitive?

Being deeply introverted and highly sensitive, this enforced Me Time (that I don’t need to feel guilty about) has been a mixed blessing that I’m appreciating on a couple of different levels because my life has changed for the better.  (If you are highly sensitive, I recommend Elaine Aron’s books, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You.)

I created a new flow for my normal day and the outcome is fantastic!

My physical stress level plummeted (translate that into ‘remarkably less pain’), plus I haven’t felt this relaxed in centuries.

I can breathe.

I don’t find myself suddenly breathless because I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the next demand or disaster to hit.

The pandemic has given me time and space to dream and define what I really want my life to look like, and to try out different scenarios in my imagination first, and then work them out in real time. And I have to admit that it looks quite a bit different than I thought it should. (Note that “thought it should…?” Another ah-ha moment.)

What has really happened as a result of the pandemic is that I’ve proven to myself that I really can make-do with less. Granted, I’ve been downsizing my lifestyle for several years now, so the foundation was already there. (Yes, you can experience this, too.)

It’s just that with this new mindset, I can easily see how my dreams can be my new reality and I’m liking the way it looks.

So that’s where I’m going, that’s the direction I’m looking forward to. How can it get better?

I ask you, now that you’ve seen how life can be different, now that you’ve lived with your new normal for several weeks,

  • Which changes do you want to keep?
  • Which parts of your old routine can you let go of and drop?

Do It the Easy Way with Hypnosis / Life Coaching

If you want

  • clarity to
  • live a life you love,
  • getting paid to do work that feeds your soul,
  • with a home life you love to go home to,

then I can help you do just that because I see the real you, and hypnosis combined with life coaching is the easiest and quickest way I know of to make those deep changes you crave.

Contact me for more information.

Peg’s vacation photo by Robbie Pepper.

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