We who live in four seasons, year after year can experience what it is like to move from summer into the dark and gloomy, retreating autumn/winter, and then out again into the sunny, energetic spring and summer full of connections again. It’s relatively easy to feel the energy of the world – and perhaps that of the people – decreases as we enter winter. The introspective feelings that often occur at this time of year are familiar to many of us.
But perhaps more interesting and surprising information is that we can also feel depressed as we move from dark to light, from winter to summer. Because there is another big change coming. From a more withdrawn, closed-in state, we are moving back out, connecting to each other and being more energised. Now, if we add to that this year the pandemic of the last 2 years, then perhaps we can understand why, deep down, it is so difficult to ‘come back to reality’.
After all, it is not just a simple winter to summer situation that needs to be resolved. But also the fact that we have been conditioned almost constantly over the last two years to stay away from other people and the outside world. Because both of those things carried dangers.
Even if there have been some breaks from this, mostly in the summer times, two years of mental and physical isolation invisibly bites into our being. And by the time we realise this, it takes very conscious inner work and energy to get out of it and go back to at least somewhat ‘normal’.
Let’s see how we can recognize when we are stuck in confinement and what the solutions might be!
The lack of stepping out
For example, you can recognise it by noticing that even though you could go out of your house/apartment at any time, go to meet friends and acquaintances, you don’t do it.
When you think about being around people again, your stomach clenches, even if only a little. There’s an inexplicable inner resistance.
Which was understandable in the midst of the pandemic, but now you don’t have the need to feel it. The period of isolation, of withdrawal, of winter, is over. And yet, you still have this feeling. Well, that’s what conditioning from the past does – you bring feelings and emotions from the past into the present that you don’t need here.
The other day I delivered a training session where this topic came up. One participant mentioned how strange it still is for her to be around people, to step out into the outside world. She feels that she doesn’t need that feeling anymore, but still finds it hard to get over it.
I was in this situation myself, especially after the first wave of Covid. Even though there was no reason to sit at home any more, I found it hard to get used to being able to go anywhere, anytime, without restrictions. And one thing helped me in this.
Solutions for the lack of stepping out
My solution then and since then as well – when I still noticed some of these signs on myself after the next waves – was to consciously push myself. Even when I would have preferred to spend every day of the week sitting at home, I chose instead to organise activities with people. A meeting, a drink, a walk, a night out, a sport activity together, going to the movies. Anything and everything that doesn’t involve sitting at home. And if I scheduled this for, say, every other day for a week or two, the result was that I could rewrite my previous negative habit and pattern. Namely, the negative pattern of being closed in my home. And because I had overwritten the past, it no longer “hurt” to leave home, but became as natural as before.
The key in such situations is awareness. First of all, realising that what is happening to you (even in your own head or inside your own soul) is not good for you, it is not really you.
And secondly, you have to do something about it. No one is going to take your hand and pull you out of it. You have to do it yourself., for yourself.
Most probably it’s going to be hard in the beginning to make yourself do it. After all, it’s comfortable to be at home, you’re used to it, it’s your comfort zone. But when you’re in the situations outside, when you’re no longer at home, believe me, you’ll enjoy it. You’ll get that old feeling that yes, this is who I am, but I’ve been living my life a little differently recently. Out – in – and finally out again.
In the second part of this article, you will read about another sign of being stuck in the confinement and also about how to overcome it.