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How a life coach helped me beat 'Freedom Day' anxiety – and become happier

It took several months - but it was worth it

Andrea Caamano

Back in February when Boris Johnson announced his plans to end lockdown – my first feeling should have been relief – but I was suddenly overcome by panic.

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I left the office five months before the pandemic hit to enjoy what I thought was going to be the most incredible maternity leave. This was my second pregnancy and after having rushed back to work after my first I was excited about 12 months off work, spending time with my family and lots of holidays.

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During the pandemic I returned to work, why not? I was stuck at home, I might as well get on with it. And even though at home we began lockdown with the best intentions: P.E. with Joe Wicks, healthy picnics in the sun... it soon went downhill – and so nearly a year later, I realised I needed something, but was unsure as to what.

I searched high and low and read many articles and finally decided that I needed a diet overhaul and to talk to someone – a life coach.

When I contacted Life Coach and CEO of The Happiness Explorer Lydia Kimmerling, she asked me a very simple question: 'What do you want to get out of this?' and I had no idea what the answer was.

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Lydia Kimmerling is a life coach based in Ibiza

I had heard a lot of positive things about life coaches, mainly from American friends, but I wasn't sure if it was for me. I told her I was normally a very happy person but had been feeling a bit grey lately, with no energy and dreading social contact as I felt unhappy with myself for the first time in my life.

Lydia sent me homework, which forced me to find time for myself – something I hadn't had for over a year. She set me certain tasks – which involved reading and listening to motivational audios – and then we would meet up over Zoom.

Lydia offers daily advice through her Instagram

By week two, she had me crying in front of my laptop – she had unlocked something in me that I didn't even know I had inside. That day changed me forever.

As the weeks went by, my mind became clearer – as if it had been filled with fog and suddenly the sky was looking blue. As the days passed, I would get excited for our bi-weekly catch-ups as I knew I would finish the day feeling motivated, inspired and ready to conquer the world.

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Lydia runs a successful coaching business - The Happiness Explorer

During the seven weeks we spent together Lydia set me goals and tasks and really pushed me towards the target we had set for myself at the beginning – and what a change did they have on me!

The interesting thing is Lydia never really told me what to do, she listened, she encouraged me and she helped me see clearly. It's as if a fire in me was burning, but barely, and she helped me stock up with wood to keep it alight.

It's a strange feeling, difficult to put into words, even though I am a writer myself! I had no idea what the experience was going to be like, and now I can't imagine going back to my previous self. 

I can honestly say that working with a life coach and following a healthy diet have helped me achieve in four months what I had been lacking for the past 16 months – and I could not recommend it more to people to do the same if, like me, they are dreading going back to 'normal'.