So here we find ourselves. We are living through history. As the world squares up to the coronavirus, we find ourselves living in isolation and lockdown. Frightening words that seemed to be from another time, or at least another country, now dominate our news, our social media and our every conversation.
Our resilience is being tested and there is no end in sight. In these testing times, it is essential that we take care of our mental health. The uncertainty of this unprecedented situation will play havoc with our anxieties, we need to take control of the things that we can control.
Here are some ideas to start you off…
It is good to stay informed of the current situation, but be careful of your information sources. Try to avoid hysteria and stick to the official channels of communication.
When you’re feeling anxious, you are likely to be living in the future and imagining the most terrible worst case scenarios. Come back to the present. What can you see right now? What can you hear right now? What is happening in your world right now?
Breathe. When we are anxious, we tend to breathe small and shallow breathes. Slow it down, drop your shoulders. Deep breath in, hold for a few seconds, breathe out slowly through the mouth.
Don’t ignore your feelings. You are entitled to everything you are feeling, be it, scared, angry, sad. Name it, own it and feel it.
Control the things you are still able to. Stick to a healthy bedtime routine. Eat well. Keep doing your exercise, whether it be a walk, a run or a bicycle ride. Exercise is so, so important for mental health. This is true now more than ever.
Notice the small things. Now that our world has slowed its heartbeat right down, its time to properly look at what is all around us. Nature, the weather, wildlife. See, appreciate and take joy in the simple things.
Relish the break from the rabid consumerism. More than ever before, we are being careful with our resources. May that continue, as it is a vital lesson we have long ignored.
Technology means we can stay in touch with loved ones and friends more easily than ever before. Use the various platforms to communicate, to socialise and stay in touch with your fellow humans. Talk, laugh and catch up. Some things wont change.
Lets come out of this stronger, more resilient and with a greater growth mindset. Let us appreciate the things we took for granted and look forward to their return but lets also take on board the lesson that life is showing us and rise to it.