A mug of coffee reading "begin."

Becoming enabled; adapting to a new Normal

24th April 2020

Adapting to lockdown is proving to be overwhelming and difficult for many of us for various reasons. And although in my previous post, I spoke about being stuck at home for extended periods of time, nowadays I’m always active and out and about so I’m finding it difficult to be locked down too.

In these strange times it’s easy (and understandable) to focus on the things we miss from our normal lives. For me it’s seeing friends and family and my regular swimming sessions.

However, there is another way of looking at this situation which is much more positive and focuses on what you CAN do, rather than on what you can’t.

As a disabled person I’m used to people defining me through the things I’m unable to do – the term disabled itself has a negative connotation implying a lack of ability.

Yet this is not the way I define myself as I see myself as a very motivated and driven person.

This is in part due to the way I was educated. I was one of the first people in the UK to be taught Conductive Education which originated Budapest and was introduced to the UK in the 1980s.

Conductive Education is all based on individual potential. As NICE describes it: “CE is based on a ‘simple’ concept of human potential; meaning that everyone has the capability to learn and develop irrespective of their starting point.”

What this means is that my education was very much based on pushing me to achieve my full potential and therefore focused on what I was able to do rather than what I wasn’t.

Although there are downsides to the CE system, it did have a very positive impact on my mindset and my approach to life in general. I set high standards for myself in terms of what I wish to achieve in my life and do whatever is necessary to reach those goals!

So how is this helping me in the current situation? Here’s some thoughts and ideas that I’m finding really helpful at the moment:

Plan your day

I’m thinking of this as the new normal and plan my day accordingly. For me it’s important to have structure and routine so I try to keep to a bit of a schedule and do certain things at specific times. I adapt it though according to my to do list and how I’m feeling.

Learn a new skill

I’m using this time to write my new blog and I’m really enjoying it ! It’s a great distraction from the reality of what is happening and time flies when I’m writing.

Get outside

I don’t always feel like going out but I always feel better for it. Luckily I have my dogs who need walking each day and when I’m out I’ll say hello and have a chat to people I recognise, while social distancing of course!

Use technology

The internet is an amazing resource that most of us take for granted and once you get online the possibilities are endless. I visited Yosemite National park in the USA today courtesy of Google Earth!

Keep in touch

It’s hard not being able to see family and friends in person but I’m in touch with people daily on FaceTime or on the phone.

Do things you enjoy

Reading… listening to music… I’m really enjoying listening to Brené Brown’s podcasts at the moment and I do treat myself to the occasional glass of wine!

Take each day as it comes

These are challenging times and I accept that some days are going to be better than others. I try not to give myself a hard time for having an off day… there’s always tomorrow.

How are you adapting to lockdown? Do you have any tips to share that help you get through the day?

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