As we really settle into this pandemic and make major adjustments to how we conduct our lives it’s important to celebrate the little wins and be a little kinder to each other and ourselves.
It is natural to feel fear and anxiety in any challenging situation that involves danger or uncertainty.
Kindly acknowledge the feelings “I am having the feeling of ……”
Soothe and reassure yourself as you would a friend.
Take 5 deep, slow breaths (out-breath longer than in-breath).
Try choosing an activity and engage fully in that activity.
Share your feelings with loved ones.
If you are struggling, call NewPsych for an extra appointment, we are there!
So much of how we feel is related to how we think about things, where we choose to put our attention, if we spend our time thinking about how bad things are, we will only feel worse.
Observe and be curious about your thinking patterns and ask yourself is this helpful? Are you making yourself feel better or worse?
Taking in the good
Consciously choose to focus on positives.
Notice things that give you a moment of joy.
Have some fun, laugh with the kids or friends, watch a movie that makes you laugh.
Taking action helps give us a sense of control. Do what you can to protect yourself by following the hygiene and distancing recommendations and anything else that you can think of.
Committed action in line with your core values helps too. “What good can I do today for myself and others? Research shows that acts of kindness help the giver as much as the receiver.
Remind yourself how much you are helping by sticking to the regulations.
Limit your exposure to news and only use trusted sources.
Avoid watching anything that elicit fear or stress, focus on feel-good.
Routine, routine, routine
Vital for well-being in times of change, work out a daily routine that includes the important things for well-being. It will help give you a sense of purpose and stability.
Remember it is actually physical distancing not social distancing!
Keep connected with those you love and those who make you smile.
We are fortunate to have so many ways of doing this.
We have to keep the safe distance apart but we can still smile and greet those we pass, remember many people are really isolated at present.
Keep your focus on what IS in your control which is what you chose to do right here, right now.
Keep in mind the idea that in the future, when things have returned to (a new) normal, it would be good to be able to look back and say “that was a tough time, but I did it as well as I could”. This is how we earn our own self-respect.
Restrictions v opportunity
Perhaps the restrictions of these times provide you with the possibility to do something you have always been “meaning to do”?
The opportunity to slow down.
Do that gardening? Read that book?
You will feel better if you feel that you have achieved something in your day.
Yourself for your coping with enjoyable activities.
In stressful times the basics are especially important: daily exercise, healthy diet and a good sleep routine.
It’s tempting but upping your alcohol intake won’t help.
Now you do have the time!!
An important tool for calm and for seeing those unhelpful thought patterns and replacing them with something more helpful.
Try an App eg Headspace.
For what we DO have helps.
Each day think of 5 things you have to be grateful for in that day.
If one of them is a person, tell them!!
Research shows that the people who recover best from trauma or challenging situations are those who can identify some positive, some way in which they have grown.
What positive can you take from this time?
Remind yourself, this too shall pass.