I’ve been honest on social media this week, fessing up that my kids are #selfeducating with varying results. There is so much more to cope with already, that is one of the ‘to do’s I have let go off. Moving into another week of lockdown has so many highs and lows, there is only one subject on everybody’s lips at the moment and it begins with C, you can’t get away from it. Whilst the illness itself has consequences the mental health fall out is beginning to emerge.
It is the long term stress, or chronic stress, that makes this situation difficult to bear for those that were already stressed with over-full lives.
What made it abundantly clear to me this week, was interesting in a study that was undertaken in the first month of lockdown. A MORI poll found that the UK is falling into three categories when dealing with the mental health effect of lockdown. These are either accepters, sufferers, or resisters. The shocking result is that nearly half (44%) of those surveyed fall into the suffering category and reported feeling anxious or depressed since lockdown.
Most of this group said they are sleeping worse than usual and checking social media daily or more frequently. It is easy to do, the last few weeks the media has been full of updates about the Coronavirus – from daily bulletins on the TV to minute by minute stories in your social media feeds – it is hard to avoid.
And what is the one best thing you can do to protect yourself from this onslaught?
Turn off the news
There is the obvious one of turning off your news notifications on your phone. We all know that having your mobile phone next to you 24/7 means that the temptation to grab it at every notification can be overwhelming and all-consuming.
It is easy to sort, simply checking your settings, and turn off the notifications for your news app. If you want to stay informed set sometime aside each morning to log on, once a day and not before bed. Are the obvious solutions.
Coronavirus is an inherent threat, which is an underlying threat that is with us in our subconscious but not a real tiger. The brain doesn’t know it isn’t real and sends the hormone signals regardless. Dealing with the unknown triggers flight or fight response, the unknown is a condition that the human condition finds so hard to manage. Finding new ways of dealing with this can be hard. Talking to someone helps enormously, getting life into perspective has huge benefits. It releases your thoughts and relaxes your body. You become more resilient.
It is a simple thing to do reaching out, and yet asking for help is so hard. It can be hard to reach out and ask for support when you need it, most of the time you don’t think you do need it. You are the carer, the giver, the supporter. I get that.
As someone who was raised with a ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality, I know that I’ve always been GREAT at supporting others… but have perhaps felt awkward about asking for help? Have you ever felt like that? It’s one of the reasons that I am coached, so I can coach.
I get support so I can give support.
Sharing means that insights around your own behaviour are easier to witness and sharing your own experiences help, so $[FNAME|Customer|Guest]$ – if you’re always the person putting other people first then prioritise yourself this week. Take up my offer now – and book a call with me
Prioritise yourself this week. Trying to do it all is no joke, juggling homeschooling, being mum, being a carer and worrying about others in your family is a full-time job. Then pile on top your own work commitments plus concerns for the future and the pressure builds. For most, lockdown is to be endured for the long term, how are you going to feel if this pressure remains? Prioritise yourself this week. Take up my offer now, reach out and book a call with me.
Letting the pressure build will cause greater issues down the road. As an insightful client, who has learned from experience said this week
“the mind will break before the body”
If you have been driving yourself full pelt for years then this unknown will be hard to navigate. Sometimes the simplest relief is helping others
Being positive in a crisis is not nieve it is leadership. The more caring and open approach to leadership as demonstrated by world leaders has paid huge dividends to their respective countries’ wellbeing. A recent article in the Guardian quoted the secret weapon in the fight against coronavirus: women. New Zealand, led by Jacinda Ardern, is also a world leader in combating the virus which is due to geography and size and being an island state also gives it a distinct advantage. However, leadership is also a factor. New Zealand has implemented widespread testing and Ardern has responded to the crisis with clarity and compassion.
Treat yourself with clarity and compassion and avoid negativity. Don’t dwell on negative stories, change your social media feed so that your contacts and feed is positive. I have been #postpostiive for over a month now. It means that the FB algorithm has noted that I want similar positive posts. I have had a reduced amount of American spam, and hate-filled, behaviour correcting sentiments instead I have seen more posts of lovely dogs giving emotional advice, bird pictures in blossoming trees, humour filled videos, and of course Captain Tom living it up in Jamaica now he has his millions.
Do you have some good news to share? What’s made you happier in the past 24 hours? Have you seen a pleasing picture of a bird? Please send it all our way, either by commenting below or emailing me I’d love to share it in my posts #postpositive
Whilst on the surface it may feel harder in lockdown, to keep loved ones close there are ways of overcoming the obvious issues of spatial distancing – notice the play on words spatial not social distancing. Social connection is imperative, feeling reassured is the best way to calm your nervous system and reduce the onslaught of stress hormones cortisol – that create belly fat, reduce your immune system and lower your ability to fight any virus.
Talking to someone you trust is always an effective tool for mastering your thoughts. Sometimes it is your bestie and other times it can be a stranger. My dog-walking friends seem to know my ups and downs rather well, although they have no idea where I live. Well, let’s hope not anyway.
Reach out has never been easier. I have been an advocate of online coaching for years. The anonymity of not knowing your everyday life with the added benefit of feeling more relaxed because you are in your own surroundings makes online coaching one of the fastest-growing industry, going online is the new proactive life experience that will enhance and benefit your mental health. Not sure if you have your resilience and you are ready to improve your bounce back, great, then Book some time for you x
If something I’ve said has resonated with you then please leave a comment, I would be interested to know what do you think? Share your story in the comments.
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