This week is another huge milestone here in the UK as we come closer to “normal” life again. With indoor venues opening up, theatres and cinemas welcoming audiences back and the possibility of travel again, there is a lot to be excited about.
With all the excitement though, there is also a lot of anxiety. We’ve become so used to these strange times we are living in that seeing two people shake hands on the telly has actually become quite shocking, and being able to legally hug a friend is something we’re all bracing ourselves for. With all this in mind, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to ask journalist and wellbeing coach Lily Silverton some questions about mental health and how we can all look after ourselves over the coming weeks and months.
We’re starting to see the world open up again a bit, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think people will go back to the way we were or will we all act a little bit differently?
I hope that after an adjustment period of everyone going a bit mad on freedom, we’ll take some of the lessons learnt during lockdown into our day-to-day lives. Many people discovered a slower pace of life suited them and hopefully they won’t forget that going forward (myself included!)
What are some of your tips for looking after your mental health at the moment? How can we avoid feeling overwhelmed as we go back out into the world?
- Be honest about how you’re feeling.
“If you’re feeling anxious about returning to normal life, then please don’t ignore that. Share your feelings with trusted loved ones […]”
- Make a list of all the things you used to love doing
“It’s essential to have future events to get excited about, so that you can keep moving forward, even if at a different pace to those around you.”
- Decide on your new social norms
“Don’t want to go back to hugging everyone or shaking the hands of strangers? Don’t want to be indoors with people? That’s all completely understandable.”
- Don’t identify too much with your current situation
“Remind yourself that feeling [anxious] doesn’t make you an anxious person, nor does it mean it will last forever – it’s simply what you’re experiencing right now.”
- Re-evaluate your priorities
“Note down how your priorities have changed over the past year, and think about the changes you’d like to keep (or any new ones you’d like to make) going forward. This will help you stay motivated and focused, which will naturally lessen feelings of stress and anxiety and make everything feel more manageable.”
(read the full article here)
Do you have any top tips for a good at home work/life balance?
I’m always a bit wary of the word ‘balance’ as I think sometimes we strive for that at the expense of other things, and then beat ourselves up when we (inevitably) don’t succeed in achieving it. I think the main thing is to find moments of satisfaction, contentment and joy in all areas of life, but sometimes those will come more in one area at the expense of another. The key is to remain mentally and emotionally flexible, so that when you don’t feel you have any balance, you know that that is okay and that things will change soon, and the pendulum of life will swing again in a new direction! If you’re always sacrificing, for example, home life for work, then of course it may be time to make some active changes of your own.
In terms of your career, can you explain to us a little bit how you became a mindset and meditation coach and how you ended up being featured in Vogue?
I’ve practiced these methods for many years – meditation & yoga for almost 25 – so it was an inevitable progression to eventually study and teach them I guess 🙂 For 10 years before that I was a journalist, and continue to write for publications such as Vogue (I used to write on fashion/arts and now I mostly focus on wellbeing and mental health).
What have been some of your biggest challenges career-wise and how did you overcome them?
Rejection! I am a freelancer and experience rejection on a near weekly basis – whether it’s from pitching workshops to companies or articles to magazines. It’s something I know is simply part of my work, and for the most part I have the approach that the right things come into my life at the right time. But that doesn’t mean the rejections don’t still sting, I just try to use them to propel me forward to new things.
What advice would you give your younger-self?
I suffered from terrible mental health when I was younger, so the main advice I would give myself is to be kinder to myself, and to have sought meaningful support earlier on in life. And to commit to daily meditation!
What does success look like to you and how do you measure it?
Success looks like adding value to the world. For me I take pride in my work when someone benefits from it, when I’ve helped them help themselves. That’s the biggest measure.
For more information, or to start your free seven day trial of Lily’s membership visit her website here: