The whole world has been thrown into a very unfamiliar set of circumstances where, if like me you are not a key worker and you are following the guidance, you are staying at home to keep safe,protect others and save lives. And I am sure you will join me in thanking all the amazing key workers who are keeping us safe at this time in their many roles.
I often talk about the importance of #LIFEworkbalance and how we need to take more time out to care for ourselves and our well-being, however we have been thrown into a situation where we now have a huge amount of time on our hands, although not through choice. It is an enforced rest period and one where many of us are working from home. If you are self-employed working from home is not so much of a shock, however being in lock down is, plus we are all finding ourselves under new stresses and strains we have never experienced before, so I though I would share a few ideas to help us cope at this time.
So firstly what problems may we be facing, these are just a few things which spring to mind, and I am aware that all of us are experiencing this in different ways, with different challenges too. Lock down means we find ourselves in a position where we can only leave this house for limited essential activities.
So we may be…
- isolating alone
- isolating with friends, family, loved ones
- feeling lonely
- feeling overwhelmed, by the situation, the news, social media, being around people constantly, being alone constantly, etc…
- anxious about future income and job security?
- anxious about future income and if your business can survive?
- our routines which make us feel safe and give us a sense of who were are and how we show up in the world have been taken away from us
- anxious about our health or that of loved ones
- lacking motivation or direction
- feeling lost and helpless
So what can we do?
The main thing to acknowledge early on, is that we can not control what is happening around us or how long this goes on for, we can not control Covid19 alone, we must act collectively and do our bit by following the guidance… that is something we can control.
We can also control is how we respond to it, we can control our little bubble, we can take back some control. This will make us feel calmer and help us to get through this period as positively as we can, here are some ideas and suggestions based on my own experiences during this situation and from years of coaching.
- Firstly, keep safe, by limiting time outdoors, follow the advice and guidance, keeping yourself, your loved ones and others safe in the top priority.
- However, we also need to look after our mental health and well-being, particularly at this time.
- We can limit the time we spend watching the news and updates on social media. It is important to stay informed, but it is also important to look after our own mental health. I am limiting the news to the one main government update each day and news I hear on the radio. Plus, I am limiting what I read about it on social media.
- Focus on what you can do, that long list of things which always gets put off, like DIY, sorting out that draw or room or wardrobe, planning for the future, getting paperwork up to date, do some business or career planning and so on.
- We can create a routine, we need to have a purpose and having a routine brings this. I make sure mine includes some rest time, exercise, work and so on.
- Experience your emotions, it is perfectly OK to have times when you feel sad or cry about what is happening, but it is also OK to laugh, have fun and find some positives or be excited for the future.
- I have also been taking time to meditate, I know for some people this seems a bit fluffy, but I find it helps me to find a little peace and calm each day, please do reach out if you would like to know more about how this can help and more importantly, how to do it if you are unsure.
- When you are lonely, reach out to people, whether that is through text, calls or video chats, I find this really helps, particularly the video chats, it makes you feel much more connected.
- Or if needed take time out alone, that is OK too for those of us locked down with others, we all need time and space alone.
- Be kind to each and yourselves, know that everyone is reacting from a place of anxiety right now.
- Get your brain active, get creative, which hobbies or activities can you do to keep you busy? It is a much loved hobby which has been forgotten about, could you learn a language, read that book, take an online course there are many options and I think I am doing them all, I dedicate a little time each day to doing each of these. Intend to come out of this with a new skill and turn this into something positive.
- Could you volunteer to help? I have become and NHS volunteer there are many ways we can work together at this time to make a difference.
- Most of all take care of you, and do reach out if needed, is it a sign of strength to admit we are struggling, not a sign of weakness and we are all impacted by this, so whether it is a trusted friend or family member, a coach like me, or another agency, please do reach out. If you aren’t sure how to get the help you need, then get in touch.
There are many more things we can do too, these are just a few ideas. As I often mention in my talks, we can not always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond and this is all down to the perspective we view the situation from.
This is an awful situation for so many reasons, however I hope some good comes from it, I hope in the future we all value the precious things in life more like: time, people, our freedom, our ability to choose and the beautiful outdoors… I hope people put their health, well-being and relationships before money… my wish is that this brings a reset in many ways and that we use this time to get creative, to learn, to rest, to nurture ourselves and each other.
If you or anyone you know would like any help with managing stress or anxiety at this time, please do get in touch for an informal chat or book yourself in for an introductory session, I have also made some one off stress buster sessions available during this difficult time.
We will get through this, it will pass, even though it may not feel that way right now.
Sending, love and socially distant hugs to you all at this tricky time,
Until next time,