My policy is not to get swept up in or contribute to negative situations. What I’ve realised is that it’s kind of unavoidable at the moment.
Whenever I write for this site, I always ask – is this helpful? – only posts where I can answer, yes, get published. That has always been my commitment to you. I didn’t want to add to the current noise out there and planned on not writing anything about current events. However, I’ve decided I do have something helpful to say about the new big ‘C’*. So I’m sharing this from a place of helpful intention in the hope it will at least provide some support to someone in need of it right now.
*(who knew how many awful words could be attached to this one letter?)
Let me share with you what I’m personally experiencing at the moment (because we’re all in this together aren’t we)…
In all honesty, my mental health has been impacted. The news is overwhelming. I’m human, prone to anxiety and this is certainly spiking it – maybe you can relate? The majority of my family live in Malta. With the island’s 14-day quarantine on arrival, I’m no longer just a plane ride away from them, it’s a horrible feeling – I can’t be there if I’m needed. There is worry for loved ones who fall into the higher-risk category & concern for friends whose livelihood is in pieces right now. It’s a giant unwelcome feeling of no-control. Life on hold, for who really knows how long. Seriously, f*@k you Corona!
But here’s what I do know…
The thing that keeps me going – other than my need to function for my kids – is working daily on my well-being. Now more than ever, simple, daily, easily accessible practices provide the biggest payoffs in terms of how happy I – we – can feel in this moment. OK, I can’t control what this bloody thing is doing, but I can control what I do to get myself through it – so can you.
Right now, I want to share with you my well-being daily action list
I know you may have heard a lot of this before, but the more times we hear something the more likely it sticks. Please do not underestimate how much these simple actions can help.
Limit the news.
This includes social media and TV shows such as This Morning, GMB etc that are just a constant stream of talk about it. I’ll be honest, I have limited all of this & yet the news still reaches me – whether it’s people messaging me with all the latest ‘advice’ for beating it or links to news stories they’ve found. Whilst it’s sent with good intention, it doesn’t help me.
If necessary, put up a post to say you’re limiting your exposure to the news and ask friends & family to respect your decision. Just be open about how you’re feeling right now. Yes, you want to keep in touch with people, and you want them to know you’re there for them – but it’s also important to reduce anxiety-inducing contact.
Look after yourself.
Yes, it’s a great excuse to stay in your PJ’s on the sofa all day (& we all need those types of days every so often) but maintain care of yourself. Eat healthily, exercise, shower – not only will these things benefit your physical & mental well-being, but those around you will also be encouraged to do the same.
Be more mindful.
As I’ve said before, mindfulness is about being present in the moment, not carrying the weight of the past or worrying about the future. Give mindful focus to what you’re doing, even if that is washing your hands. Meditate. Do a mindful activity, such as mindful colouring, baking, puzzles, craft – whatever brings moments of calm to your day – make sure you’re doing something daily.
Work on your thoughts.
Do stuff just for sh*ts & giggles.
There’s so much stuff we’re being told we should do at the moment, and so much stuff we’re being told we’re not allowed to do at the moment. Within the ‘in-between’ area find things that will bring you joy – and for no other reason than you just can – do them! View it as your personal two-finger salute to the new big C.
List your daily successes.
This is such a powerful exercise right now. Listing any achievements – no matter how small you may perceive them to be – is a great way to see how you’re still winning despite the challenging circumstances.
And whilst you’re at it, journal!
Consider daily writing down of the following:
- At least 5 things you’re grateful for.
- A list of your goals/dreams – just because they might be on hold right now doesn’t mean they’ll never happen – keep the faith!
- Your thoughts – let them flow out of you, place no judgement on what you write – think of it as a cathartic cleanse.
Especially with the people who uplift & support you. Go all 90’s and make phone calls!
Pick up personal development books & use the time to not only read them but complete the exercises too! What about working out your purpose – finding your meaning? Create a vision board? All of these things will build you up and move you forward.
Need something more? Help others! Contact local community groups and see if there are ways you can help the most vulnerable near you, whether that’s dropping shopping at their doorstep or calling to have a friendly chat with someone who is self-isolating at the moment. Being involved in something bigger than ourselves benefits everyone.
Look, I’m not claiming to be at my happiest right now. But I am getting through…
I am functioning OK and the reason is that I work daily on my well-being. Without these things, these small but very helpful things, this wouldn’t be the case. I urge you to make your well-being a priority too – work out what works for you.
As I’ve said before in my post on improving well-being – if we take responsibility as individuals to maintain a higher sense of well-being, not only will we benefit ourselves but also those directly around us and even wider society as a whole. What better time for this than now, right?
How are you coping right now? What are you doing to try to feel a bit happier each day? Do you have any tips to share. I would always encourage you to seek out official advice, such as the NHS Direct when it comes to dealing with the current situation and not rely on unsubstantiated advice – the likes of which currently doing the rounds on social media. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about any of the tips I’ve shared – whatever you’d like to say, please do leave a comment below – I always love to hear from you.