Mental, emotional, social and spiritual effects of living in lockdown.

By Kerry McLeish from Rest for life

Many of us are not doing our normal jobs at the moment, and we may be doing less physical activity than usual, but that doesn’t mean we are not working hard. Living in lockdown is a tricky thing to navigate.

Mentally we are all trying to figure out how to do life in these extraordinary times. Whether you are working at home for the first time, with all the challenges that this brings, or you may be trying to juggle three jobs at the same time, you’re paid work, parenting and teaching. Or even just trying to find a way to get enough food for next week, perhaps not only for yourself but for vulnerable others as well. We are all problem-solving in many and various new ways at the moment, and this can be tiring.

Living in lockdown

Many of us are working very hard emotionally right now. Caring for our families, friends and neighbours who may be struggling with the crisis emotionally themselves. We may be concerned, anxious, or even fearful ourselves about what tomorrow may bring. We are grieving for those occasions, events or regular activities that are important to us but no longer possible. All this is going on even if we and all those we love are well and safe. But of course, it is multiplied if anyone we care about is unwell. This emotional work drains us of energy and can leave us feeling exhausted without having actually ‘done’ anything.

Social distancing and social isolation have brought changes for all of us in different ways, and the effect can be socially exhausting. Either because we have little or no contact with anyone else, or because we are living in very close quarters with others and everyone seems to want to connect with us but in new and unfamiliar ways. We may be struggling with having too few or too many interactions in a day – either can be draining. In addition, many are finding that connecting through video calls is a great tool in this time, but it can be much more tiring than meeting with people face to face.

Lastly, during this time the big questions of life are starting to crop up, ones we usually can manage to happily ignore. Questions about life and death, about what I value most, what am I prepared to sacrifice, who do I trust, and what do I put my faith in. Some of us will be reflecting on these issues seriously perhaps for the first time, others will be working really hard to avoid thinking about these questions. Either way, this is spiritual work. 

So even if we sat in a chair all day and ‘did’ absolutely nothing, at the moment, we will all be working hard, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually if not physically. So, if you are feeling more tired than usual or completely exhausted, even though you feel like you are doing very little, this is not surprising. 

Be kind to yourself, and those you live with who may well be feeling the same. While living in lockdown, take time to rest, you need it, maybe now more than ever. 

Browse the reflective meditation library to help facilitate your rest today.