A word most of hadn’t heard of a few months ago and now a word we hear every few minutes. A global pandemic is something we could only imagine in a horror film but now we’re all living through the horror and anxiety every day. Something none of us have ever experienced before.
We listen daily to constant updates on the numbers of people who have tested positive, the number who have died, the number of people in intensive care…. It goes on and on. A Lockdown has been implemented across the whole country(UK and many others) and every night we watch as new hospitals and mortuaries are planned and built within days. We are all living in what feels like a nightmare with feelings of impending doom looming over us. Our world has changed beyond all recognition .
Added to this is that some of us are still working, fearing taking the virus home and others are at home all day, every day with lots more time to worry and imagine how bad things could be and how our lives will look in the future.
So what CAN we do to cope through this unprecedented time?
As difficult as it is to get our heads around this, there are things we can do to help get through this. While acknowledging there are things we can’t influence, focusing on the things we CAN personally control can often be a massive help to us
The first thing we CAN do to help is follow the guidance we’ve all been given. For some people with high risk this guidance is to self isolate for twelve weeks. Not an easy ask for anyone. For most of us it’s simply to stay home unless you are a key worker, going out only for essential food and medicine or a daily form of exercise. We have also all been asked to practice social distancing and good, regular hand washing.
Here are some other suggestions to help us cope:
If you’re staying at home you can take steps to establish new healthy routines in your life. This could be taking time to make new plans for when life returns to some sort of normality. Over the last few weeks there have been numerous new online workouts posted, many of which are free! Many gyms have also offered their clients daily workouts or personal training sessions online. Many of us use the excuse of not exercising because we haven’t time. We have time now so take the chance to adapt exercise you do or start up something new online.
For now at least we are still able to leave the house to exercise once a day so walking, jogging or cycling can still be done daily.
Take the opportunity to plan new ways of eating. This could be the chance to experiment with new recipes, try new food or even batch cook some food and freeze it for when life returns to normal.
Another thing we could do is to take time to learn new skills or do online courses. I’ve seen lots of free videos on facebook teaching people to paint, learn sign language, learn a new language or take time to catch up on reading. Another suggestion is to start a diary writing down how you feel every day. This is something I’ve personally found helpful when going through tough times in the past.
This pandemic has also seen many people finding new ways of communicating, using zoom, skype, facetime or whatsapp calls. I have always provided online therapy but I’ve definitely been doing a lot more hypnotherapy online in the last month.
One good thing to come from this situation is the great community spirit evident in many areas. Lots of people are taking the time to check up on their neighbours by phone to see how they are and if they need anything. For those not working this is a great time to sign up with a community group to help deliver essentials to vulnerable people
If you have been deemed an essential worker and are having to continue working every day perhaps caring or nursing people who are ill or people at higher risk, this also has its challenges. The fear of taking the virus home to your family is very real for many people.
Fear is difficult to avoid at the moment but you can choose not to go to those dark thoughts but to find balance by instantly thinking of the opposite good outcome. Take time to fill your mind with positive thoughts.because when you change your thoughts you change your feelings. We all have this power within us and we use it every day. When we watch a sad film or tv show and we feel sad or when we watch a funny film or tv show and we feel good. Our brains react to the pictures, sounds, smells, tastes, or words that we feed it…..so CHOOSE.to be grateful for what you have in your life and for who you have in your life. Choose to be happy and let go of what you can’t control .
Whatever your circumstances know that we are adaptable by nature. We’ve been through things before and we will go through things in the future. We’re not shaped by what we go through but by how we go through the difficult times. Life has changed but we will survive and along the way we will have learned new things.
If you would like to receive a free recording of my Coping with Coronavirus anxiety audio file, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stay safe everyone.