We are now confronted to sudden changes in our daily life habits and to a lot of uncertainty due to the Corona virus and the lock-downs imposed by the governments in all Europe (and in the other parts of the world). From one day to another our lives have completely changed. Those changes are completely out of our control zone. It’s for sure not easy to deal with this situation in an balanced and healthy way for our bodies and minds.
We have to deel with something that we can not see, not touch, not smell, not taste, something that can be everywhere and that can affect our health and even threaten our life… In such a context, more than for many other changes, strong emotions and lots of fears and feelings of anxiety can appear or be awakened. Many factors directly linked to the living conditions in a lock-down can truly contribute to damage our mental health.
However we are stuck in such a situation and we feel completely powerless, we actually still have some power in our lives. Actually, we have the power to decide that we can do some things in order to maintain our mental and physical health during this period.
In the next lines you will find some tips in order to help you deal mentally with this situation of altered living conditions:
1. Create/keep routines and rituals
It ‘s of huge importance to keep some normality in those crazy times. Therefore I recommend you to keep some routines in your days and also to create/maintain meaningful rituals for you and your family. In this way you will keep motivation and clarity in your head. At the opposite, no planning will result in demotivating you because you won’t be able to acknowledge your achievements during the day. So, let’s think by example about the importance of dressing up in the morning as if you would just start a normal other day. It could be that your mind is most of the time associating pyjama to nice long wake up morning the Sunday. But it can also be that when you stay in pyjama a whole day it means that you are sick… Not so good for your mindset right?
2. Inform yourself on the official channels and plan some offline time
Off course, we all try to feel less alone but also to keep us busy by looking at the internet and social medias for hours. Social media are a huge source of anxiety as they spread lots of negative and false informations contributing to high levels of stress and anxiety. Try to inform yourself mainly on the official communication channels to be informed correctly. Don’t believe informations without a legitimate source.
3. Move and eat well
Moving is important for your mood as moving favorise the release of good hormones in your body and brain. It’s also important to release all the tension accumulated by staying home and working from home. You can do this by moving and relaxing in an active way rather than binge watching tele series. Eat healthy Alimentation has also a big impact on the way we feel. Keep an healthy diet even if in those difficult times you could be tempted to fill some affective needs by eating some trash. Allow yourself to do it sometimes but don’t make it become the rule.
4. Build a meaningful project
As this situation is meant to last and we don’t know how long, it’s important to keep your motivation to wake up in the morning by setting up some meaningful projects/activities in line with your fundamental values for you. They can be of all types: big cleaning project in your house, entertaining you kids in a great way, writing blog posts, thinking about your business strategy, finding a way to help people online, working as a volunteer for some projects …
5. Have a blue day
It’s important as well that you plan some relax and chill comforting moments to enjoy with your family or alone. Use those moments to talk, write or think about your negative feelings, to binge watch series for half a day or a day and to eat everything you love (even if it’s not so good for your health). After this day or few hours it has to be over again. One blue day or bad mood day or.. whatever the way you will call it. A day during the which you have the right to feel as you have a bad day with a low mood and low expectation or no expectations at all. Of course, it doesn’t have to become a routine otherwise your motivation and mood could suffer from it.
In this kind of situation with all the family at home or completely alone at home, it’s of huge importance to keep communicating all the time about the way you feel and experience the whole situation. This way you will be able to feel less alone and to feel supported by your family and friends. It’s important to build routines for this communication too. Try to plan some moments to communicate in family about your feelings and the situation when your are all stuck at home. When you are alone, also try to build some routines by communicating virtually systematically with family and friends. You can also find some psychological support groups online to help you express yourself and feel supported in a safe environment. By example: https://www.facebook.com/events/206984370378020/
As we just spoke about communicating, one of the most important things in such a situation is also to be able to listen carefully to the others. Active listening should become the new rule: asking questions, listening without thinking on what you will answer, trying to reformulate what the other just said, … are ways for the other person to feel listened to and to feel supported.
Having a mind full of things or having a mindful mind? Mindfulness wil help you to improve your capacity of living in the moment, not being worried about the past or the future all the time. Accepting the way you feel and your emotions can be of great help to deal with them. Mindfulness is about the capacity of your attention not to be stuck on some thoughts but to be able to let them go. Mindfulness is also of great help when you feel anxious or stressed about the whole situation. You can of course also use some relaxation techniques in order to lower your anxiety and stress level. Discover what mindfulness is with this free workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/1058836074492384/
In theses times with everything we read in the internet we tend to have a very negative image of the world and it has the tendency to fade on your self-image as well. It can sound a bit funny, but feeling grateful for all the things that are going well will help you to cope better with the situation. Complete the sentence: Despite this difficult situation, I feel grateful to…
10. Don’t hesitate to ask for professional mental/ psychological help
It’s normal that lot of us are going to feel unwell at a moment or another. These life conditions are not what we are used to. Due to the situation lots of us will have to face feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, … It’s than of huge importance to be accompanied in a professional way in order to take care of our mental health.
This list is of course not complete. Do you have some other tips to share? Don’t hesitate to write them in the comments of this article! I am curious to discover your ways to take care of your mental health during this particular period.
In need to talk? Want to be supported psychologically during this hard period? Don’t hesitate to contact me and to keep an eye on my Facebook page to follow all my online events during this special period.
Take care of yourself and of your beloved ones!