Lockdown – what’s next?

Lockdown. Definitely a before and an after. How many times will we tell a story that starts with “before lockdown” or contains “then lockdown happened”? While many businesses froze or were forced into changing their strategies, we have been stuck at home with a lot to do on top of the regular chores: home schooling, mastering the art of Zoom calling while entertaining children, juggling parental duties to finally crash on the sofa having put the kids to bed – still watching Peppa Pig. However, for a lot of us, lockdown has also opened the floodgates of creativity and unveiled hidden talents from crafting to baking (providing you found flour) and building dens deserving a recognition in Grand Designs. It’s also been a time of eating together as a family more – often without the pressure of making it all healthy and Instagram-worthy – you have to do what you have to do to survive (raise your hand if your food bill went through the roof).

And yet, as restrictions are being eased, some of us are stuck in some sort of anxiety state, unsure about our jobs, our “before life” and the policies surrounding the “new normal”. It seems to be a no-brainer to get some help. So we spoke to Marion Grimes, certified business and wellness coach who runs an inside-out agency, Peach Me Up, helping entrepreneurs maintain their motivation and rationale through the recent tough changes – but also creating strong communication strategies and sales training for small businesses.

Marion’s passion for people has empowered women to make the change they need to improve their lives and success. Her services have changed slightly during lockdown and she is now offering a nutrition programme based on the same foundations of her company: we all need a helping hand, whatever we decide on achieving, whether it is launching a business, getting a promotion, overachieving in your current role or just getting healthier and happier in ourselves. “Everyone has the answer within themselves but it’s about piecing the puzzle together in the most effective way”, Marion says. “If you start questioning the status quo, then you are on the way to achieving great things.” Here are her expert tips on how we can get into a better mindset despite the difficulties we are facing.

Build a vision board

It is the base of a business plan but what if it could help us see through difficult personal times? “Knowing your personal end goal is no different from knowing what you want professionally; it rationalises the decisions you make every day”. Marion recommends building a board with three pillars – self, social, security – where you can plug in your wildest wishes, breaking each one into categories if needed. She also suggests keeping it as visual as possible (images, quotes, reminders) and hanging your board somewhere you can see it often to multiply its power on your daily thoughts.


Change your mindset

Positive thinking is promoted everywhere but can it be switched on easily? In her practice, Marion sees a lot of women coming in with a heavy load slowing down their progress and she makes it her mission to refocus this “wasted” energy into the right path. “We can all find excuses and, to be honest, we all worry! Anxiety, imposter syndrome, family stress, money problems… the importance is to find clarity in what we want to achieve, and for that, you often need a new set of eyes, a new story angle”. She also believes the complexity of our relations has increased the desire to compare ourselves to unreal standards and, while women are getting better at saying no, there is still a long way to go. She recommends installing morning rituals such as a 10-minute meditation, writing three positive thoughts every day and limiting the initial daily to-do list to three major things you need to achieve.

Plan plan plan

Another recommendation is to plan as much as possible: “There are a lot of things that are out of your control, a lot of factors that can be a source of anxiety but, equally, there are many things you can plan and monitor that will make you feel grounded and confident”. From menu plans to weekly chores or holiday planning, she recommends setting a specific time of day to think about each task with a clear head to ensure maximum efficiency and less meltdowns.

Take the next step

Change can be scary, but it can also be exhilarating! That is why considering getting help is always a good idea. Also, it is good to remember that magic happens outside of our comfort zone, but it does not have to be lonely, a wing (wo)man is often very reassuring to have by your side. Marion points out that, now more than ever, we have the opportunity to continue at a slower pace of life, taking one day at a time and making baby steps: “Looking at my daughter growing up, I can see how human beings can be impatient but also resilient and tenacious. ‘Baby steps’ are not small, they require: caution, thought, negotiation, balance, assurance… and often involve holding a hand before setting off on your own and that’s how I feel about women seeking my advice”.


So there you have it. The new normal is coming with a train full of new and beautiful opportunities.

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