“It forced me to stop, slow down and look at things in a different way.”
Everything is a bit weird and scary right now, and as the world feels like it’s on pause, it’s a good time to check in on ourselves and our mental wellbeing. For Elisa Spigariol, the current UK lockdown has provided a break from expectations and therefore a great opportunity for some self-reflection.
“It allowed me to see things from a different perspective,” she shares.
Ellie talks very openly about the fear and anxiety that often holds her back in her day-to-day life, and shares what the lockdown has helped her realise: that it all comes back to the expectations she fears others have of her and the fear of not meeting them. “I fear being a disappointment in any way,” she says, voicing a struggle that many people with anxiety go through, and making us wish that we could hug people through screens.
“It’s a very eye-opening experience to realise that, for all this time, I have been looking at myself through the evil eye of a friend that I don’t have,” Ellie shares, admitting she doesn’t feel any of her friends think about her in the negative way she thinks of herself and would never be as angry and judgemental. She goes on to talk about how anxiety can stop you from doing even simple things, like posting on social media, out of fear of what other people might think. “So much of this has to do with people’s perception of me.”
In lockdown, Ellie has found more freedom to post whatever she wants, a unique situation allowing her to worry less about being “wrong” and focus more on looking at herself from her own perspective, instead of obsessing over what other people think. “I don’t owe anything to anyone because I don’t have to go anywhere,” she explains. “I don’t have to do anything.” Ellie then says that her time alone has allowed her to do more of what she loves, with “less stress” on her life, offering the silver-lining to lockdown we’re all in need of.
She shares she does worry about having to deal with her anxiety again once everything returns to “normal”, saying, “I just want to make sure that I don’t stop this, that I don’t fall back into my old habits.” She earnestly talks about simply wanting to be happy and stop living in fear of disaster. “I just want to be happy progressing my life in the direction I feel like I like doing.” We certainly support that!
“In a way, I guess it’s been a positive thing,” Ellie says, brightening up the situation before finally encouraging us to share what we’ve learnt from lockdown, which for us has mainly been how to use Zoom and how to triple our screen time.
Nonetheless, it’s incredibly important to be as honest and open about our mental health right now, as Ellie has been. Offer support to those who need it, and don’t be afraid to stop, slow down and focus on yourself for a bit – you might be surprised how much you learn about yourself.