At times like this, when so many plans are interrupted + we face so much uncertainty it’s only natural that we feel out of control, angry and frustrated and just want to shout - but how can we level out, readjust and begin again?
1 Permission to find it difficult
Notice your feelings and emotions. Give yourself permission to feel angry, sad, frightened, lonely, suffocated, triggered.
Talk it through or write it down. Journaling, stories, songs, and letters are all good ways to work through your emotions. It really helps to get it out of your head. Asking for help is a strength not a weakness. Find someone who will listen - friends, family, helplines and online counsellors all want to be there for you.
2 Power of language
Notice the words you are using out loud, in your head, and by the people and media around you. They have a powerful effect on your feelings, thoughts and brain chemistry.
Think about reframing the negatives and look for the opportunities:
Isolation ——> Solitude
Lockdown —-> Grounding
Trapped ——> Connection
Look for the negatives, limitations and blocks in your language. Notice them. Take note. Can you replace them with a more forgiving, positive mindset?
3 Plan + Dream
Use the energy of Spring to look at what you would like for your life when we emerge. See situations with new eyes, sow ideas and plans - in yourself, your work, your finances, your family and in your life - to harvest the crop you most desire.
If you are feeling panicked: Do some Square Breathing and decide to Think: think through the things you can control; Plan the actions you can take - now and when we have moved into recovery.
“Respond, don’t react”
Ask for help. Be kind. Have hope.
4 Distract + escape
We all have our go-to distractions that take us out of our head or our current situation. Some are self-medicating, some are self-harming in excess.
It’s a great time to know, or work out, what helps us escape the moment. Is it cleaning, gardening, Netflix, gaming, reading, exercise, play? It’s an important part of our daily coping strategy and this is the time to use them with awareness. Play everyday.
Work out what you need from each day and then you have a purpose. You will achieve something with each day: your mental health.
Take responsibility of our own self-care:
Begin your day early, give your day some structure, separate weekdays from weekends, balance treats and healthy options, find some escape time, remember to connect, make some space to think, get outside - especially if the sun is shining.
Control what you can. It helps us feel safer, more secure, and less threatened.
Communicate with careful thought: online and IRL be kind, be considerate and respect that everyone is getting through this the best way they can.