Simon Grant – a physio, Pilates instructor and hypnotherapist, who is now currently studying nutrition – is our new guest columnist. Simon’s words are comforting and informative as we all move forward and face these uncertain times in this global pandemic together…

As we head towards the end of this (maybe) last lockdown, although by no means the last we’ve seen of Covid in its many forms, we can reflect on the many lessons that can be learned from this experience.

The only certainty in life is change and so much of our stress is created by the idea that life will reach a state of Nirvana and forever reside there. Heads up, it won’t! We get so shocked and upset when this ideal image is disrupted. Now despite what fear that might engender, this is not a bad situation. As every guru, mentor or self-improvement expert ever will tell
you, we only grow through facing failure and hard situations.

If the entirety of life was a breeze we would likely be slothful, stuck in a rut, self-serving, overweight, unhealthy, and contrary to popular thought, fairly stressed.

I know it sounds counterintuitive. How can an easy, pain free, sun-filled life be stressful? Well the human brain is built to grow, to respond to challenges and expand through experiences that are not altogether comfortable. This forces us to look inward to become more self-aware and to change in ways that are hard to imagine.

Ask yourself, when has any successful person in any field you can think of (think hard) reached the level of accomplishment, fitness, intellectual prowess, business success etc without overcoming obstacles, failure and pushing on despite how hard the experience seems? The road behind these people is littered with those who baulked at the first, second or third hurdle. Resilience is the key. A skill that is not inherited genetically but learned through succeeding when life throws curveballs at you and you have the mental toughness to see it for the challenge it is, and find a solution.

In the past this was taught to children by themselves. Through the independent unstructured play, the adventuring out of doors all day and
teamwork built when playing with their friends for hours and hours without constant parental attention. Life has changed drastically in a couple of generations and especially in the last year when children have been denied access to those experiences and have had their time micromanaged. So how do we build resilience in a generation who have just been through the biggest adjustment in their lives since the Second World War?

The first suggestion would be to switch off the screens of all types and allow children to be bored because boredom is a gift which allows them to use their creativity to find things to do. Lead by example and provide opportunities for them to have adventure and to push their boundaries. Talk about the experiences you had when you were their age, the trouble
you got into and how you got out of it. This can spark and motivate kids to have similar adventures as they realise and remember that you were their age once and this creates greater connection. Remember one very important point. The subconscious is always listening.

So in the last couple of months of lockdown life, which for some have been a breeze, for others a trial from start to finish, we all need to reflect on the lessons we have been given the opportunity to learn. With luck, we have survived and come out of the situation knowing ourselves in a deeper and more profound way for it. Take time to reflect on what you have learned and see which of the lessons you can take into the future to improve your life in whatever way that may be. We are the masters of our own creation, our path through life.

Nothing is determined; the future is ours to shape whatever curveballs life decides to throw at us. Think with a resilient mind set and realise that whatever the situation we have a choice in how we react and act.

In the words of Marcus Aurelius

“The closer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”

Apply this to any situation to find the answer or solution quickly.

This is the first in a series of articles on the Lockdown Legacy. Further musings will focus on how we can maximise health for the whole person into the future.