Just over five weeks ago, not many people would have imagined that our world would be turned upside down the way it has. I could not have described what social distancing or being at home in self-isolation was – never mind considered it to be part of daily life. Our towns and cities seem so much different just now with fewer people on the streets, there is less traffic on the roads, one way systems galore in the supermarkets and the fear of having to race for the last bag of any baking ingredients in case you come within two metres of someone!
What about our home life? Never in my life, have I considered that my kids would be at home doing all their school classes online. My older kids have been completing Uni work at home and having online tutorials. Never did I consider that I would be conducting all my office meetings with numerous people from our home and I have already been seeing some clients online, so it wasn’t a huge stretch for my private practice. However, never did I imagine that all my therapy sessions would be virtual and I was amazed by online Hypnotherapy….and how it really works! And furthermore I never imagined I would be sharing my office space with a chicken!!
I suspect many of you never considered that you, too, might be in a similar situation.
How could you? The world has changed so drastically in less than a few months.
In the midst of this pandemic, we are seeing the heroic efforts by our front line services and the NHS. (Thank you for what you do for all of us). People are stepping up and buying food for the elderly; nurses, doctors, and health care providers while risking being exposed to COVID-19, and all for you and me. Also the way that our small family rural businesses leading the way in feeding the nation and making sure we can get the basics.
During these strange; and for some, difficult times, we may experience what we may consider to be panic and anxiety. That awful feeling of not being in control, or fear of what is next. I would consider this to be in many cases grief. A grief for what we have lost; A grief for a life where we are free to move around, go where we want, be with who we want, and do what we want! All of a sudden we are being told we can’t, and it is hard, even though we know it’s the right thing to do..
We can help this grief journey just like any other…
3 TIPS FOR WELL-BEING DURING COVID-19
1. Let these hard times allow you to find your creativity.
A quick flick through social media shows us huge amounts of creativity. Many people are taking to Facebook groups and showing off their talents, whether it be toilet roll videos, or singing on live concert nights. A friend of mine recently go over 50k views on a half hour session playing the accordion. I have been encouraging clients to find a skill or hobby that they have wanted to take up but have never had the time to complete.
Now is the time!
2. Find new ways to get together.
I am seeing people really trying to socially engage amid a climate of social distancing. People are sending uplifting messages, helpful information, or funny YouTube videos to make others laugh. Online telephony and video platforms are being used for education, business meetings, and social gatherings. Don’t let social distancing keep you back from socially connecting. We are wired for connection; we need to connect. Disconnection drives negativity and isolation, which can lead to low mood and depression.
Think of ways you can reach out either by phone, email, or social media using one of the many platforms available. Don’t let social distancing become social isolation. Stay connected.
3. Dare to do things differently and feel energised from it.
Don’t let boredom creep in. Use your imagination. You are the only thing holding you back…
If you ever need a time to think about the direction you are heading now is the time. I am not talking about building a new house, or starting a new project costing five figures, I am talking about DIY, the garden, getting fit, reconnecting with the kids, learning how to use Zoom, writing a journal, take up a new hobby or plan out a new project when lockdown ends.
I spent the Easter in a mini digger (Cheers PTM Plant) clearing a large area of overgrown brambles and wood floor rubbish. I have uncovered a stone dyke that runs along the roadside, and now I am in the process of rebuilding the wall which has been damaged over time, and weakened by it’s awakening to the daylight! I have never built in this way, and most likely it would be frowned upon by the experts, but I am slowly getting there and I am finding it theraputic. New skills learned right there .
We have some choices to make. Yes, for sure we are concerned about COVID-19. However, we don’t need to let fear and anxiety or in fact grief get the best of us. We can choose something different. We can acknowledge our concerns. and do our best to practice self care for ourselves and support and love for our friends and family and anyone else who needs us.
Beyond that, we don’t have a lot of control over what is going on, besides how we respond to this pandemic!
I encourage you to not let it get the best of you. Instead be the best you in it!