With the world gripped by a poweful uncertainty that few of us have experienced before, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
These are unprecedented times, and this virus looks set to impact on the entire world. The poorest will be hit hardest, while key workers will make extraordinary sacrifices.
It’s no surprise that it can be a challenge to stay positive and cope with such a strange and disturbing situation.
However it’s more important than ever to work on your mindset and on your self during this period.
Stress and anxiety has a real impact on the immune system, and while the warning signs that stress provides can be useful in some situations, we need to recognise and attempt to work on unhelpful stress.
Stress is an evolutionary process that tells us it’s time to change something, because we are in danger. It can persuade us to take action. In our past, for example, when facing a predator stress told us it was time to run.
Where it becomes deeply unhelpful, however, is when we can’t impact the situation. Largely, the virus is outside of our control. So this lingering worry and anxiety is no longer helpful, and studies show it can have a real impact on our health.
Largely, we can do nothing but stay home and minimise any social contact.
Due to the scale of what is happening, it can feel as though we have a duty to worry about it. To think about it constantly – almost out of respect to the gravity of the situation.
While we do need to stay somewhat abreast of the situation, it becomes unhelpful to be dwell on it too much.
We can do a few things, such as protecting those around us and out community. Less vulnerable people can offer to shop for others, for example.
It’s also important to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself, however. While this will help your mindset greatly, its also vital – As we really want our immune systems to be in their best shape at this moment in time.
So what else can we do to take a little bit of control, at this time when it feels like things are spiralling out of control?
Getting enough exercise is a valuable way to keep your body moving and in shape. It can be a challenge during a lockdown, but we are seeing amazing feats of creativity, from marathons on apartment balconies, to huge PE lessons streamed online.
As many people have a lot more time, and a lot fewer plans than normal, so it’s important to keep to some kind of structure. Having regular routines to punctuate the day gives a sense of purpose and meaning, that can otherwise be lost.
Listen to music
Music is something that speaks to us on an emotional level, and helps to relax us. We enjoy it, and music we like releases positive hormones.
Many people will turn to music during these tough times, and find immense comfort there – so don’t underestimate the power of music.
Find a hobby you enjoy, which you can throw yourself into fully. There is no shortage of online resources, to learn new skills – but there is no greater pleasure than losing yourself in the flow of a skill you are already competent at.
Go with the flow
It’s ok to accept that these are extraordinary times, and that you might not be as focussed, productive or as happy as you normally are.
We’re all in a tough place right now, and to a certain extent, we all have to make peace with the fact that we are not in control of our own circumstances at the moment.
So go easy on yourself. Enjoy what you can, and we’ll all get through this together.