Are you feeling more stressed and anxious than usual?
In the last month or so, we have found ourselves propelled into the unknown. We have all experienced a huge change in our day-to-day existence.
Our movements are the most restricted they have ever been since World War II. It’s an unprecedented situation we would never have expected to see in our lifetimes. All thanks to a novel coronavirus which causes the illness now etched in our minds – Covid-19, which can attack the body with such ferociousness that it has killed (at the time of this writing) hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and left many fighting for their lives. No doubt, it has frightened the life out of many of us.
This scenario has had a profound impact on mental health and ramped up peoples’ anxieties such as:
For many it’s been a very testing time indeed.
For others’, it has been a welcome break from the ‘busy-ness’ of day-to-day life and getting a chance to spend quality time with family, do things they’ve put off doing i.e. clearing the loft, learning new skills, doing lots of baking, and so on and so forth.
However, there has been an increase in stress, depression, anxiety and a feeling that this situation is beyond our control.
I, myself, have been ill with suspected Covid-19 for over six weeks and only now in the last week feeling that I’m properly in recovery. It has been a deeply unpleasant experience, only made more challenging with having limited time to rest as I have two small children to dress, bathe, home school and feed while feeling extremely unwell at times. It has been challenging from both a mental and physical point of view -sometimes feeling so fatigued that brushing my teeth would leave me breathless and other times having the most horrendous brain fog I have ever experienced descend on me like a grey mist which made it hard to focus. It has – at times – felt like a long, arduous, lonely rollercoaster of a ride.
Peoples’ mental health is being challenged under these unusual circumstances. Humans are typically social animals. Being in a now somewhat eased version of lockdown is an unnatural situation we all find ourselves in. Those who already suffer from mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression can find that being in isolation can make their symptoms feel worse.
Know that feelings and emotions come and go – they ebb and flow like the tide. Even if you’re feeling really anxious at that moment, know that the feeling is only temporary.
Remember that you are not your thoughts. Sometimes it may feel like it, especially when we ‘cling on’ to a thought or a belief that appears real – it’s abit like trying to hold on to steam from a kettle. There’s nothing to cling on to or let go of. Resisting thoughts rather than simply observing them can only add to the turmoil.
You are peace itself. You weren’t born anxious or born shy or born stressed. These are things that we acquire along our journey of life through a combination of nature (biological predispositions) and nurture (our environment and how we are raised). Notice how if a child gets upset or hurts themselves, they may cry for abit then they move on and almost forget it ever happened and carry on.
As adults, we tend to ‘get into our heads’ in a way that young children don’t. Things like meditation, being out in nature, a soak in the bath, taking the dog for a walk, going for a run etc are examples of ways people find that inner tranquility – it’s like a route into your well of peace. You don’t acquire peace of mind – it’s already there. It just gets buried within the noise of your thinking.
For all of us, we will need to adapt and accept a new kind of normal. For so long we have been part of a generation whereby we could have anything we wanted at the click of a button, and being accustomed to surplus and abundance with so much choice. It has been a sobering experience going to supermarkets and seeing empty shelves in certain aisles, not being free to move around as normal and not taking our health and well-being for granted.
The more flexible our perception, the easier it is to adapt to change and be able to navigate the changeable and unpredictable road ahead. Always remember that internal peace is already within despite the circumstances – it’s just about recognising and remembering that it’s there. It’s all part of what is termed ‘resilience’.
If you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges at the moment, feel free to get in touch. I’m writing a free e-booklet on how to help your mental state during the current crisis. I will let you know when it’s available for download.
Stay safe. With love, Desi x