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Staying upbeat in COVID-times

Take a moment to take stock of how your body and mind feel amid all the turmoil of COVID-19. It’s a difficult time for you and your family, trying to adapt to the new normal as self-isolation and social distancing brings with it an untested way of life. You know that you are not alone, […]

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Take a moment to take stock of how your body and mind feel amid all the turmoil of COVID-19.

It’s a difficult time for you and your family, trying to adapt to the new normal as self-isolation and social distancing brings with it an untested way of life.

You know that you are not alone, as you have access to information available on seeking professional help and making the most of this current situation, but it can still be challenging. Resilience, positivity, mindfulness, and learning how to beat boredom are the key concepts.

The daily updates you get on social media offer lots of practical advice and mood-lifting strategies but can be overwhelming with their sheer volume. Additionally, you realize something is missing from your preparations to face the pandemic; for example, you didn’t clean and sanitize your grocery items as instructed in the latest Youtube video you watched last night. 

Being always hypervigilant, or feeling like you’re failing to meet your loved ones’ safety needs, coupled with the fear of the unknown, can add to your daily struggle for staying safe.

You don’t want to have another anxiety-ridden day. You want to feel grounded and calm amid all this uncertainty. 

One day at a time is the time-tested remedy for rejuvenation or recovery after a loss. Still, in the current scenario, you are afraid even to visualize what your losses can be. You, like many others, are waiting for the worst. You find it’s difficult or, at times, impossible to plan for a whole day, as there are too many variables to take into account. Your children have their anxieties and try to adjust to being at home and losing their typical day.

The day goes by in a blur while trying to keep peace at home and a semblance of normalcy. Yet, with each passing day, you’re sleeping less or waking up at 3 a.m. When the quality of your sleep is affected, you are unable to stop the flow of negative thoughts. You feel tired and drained every morning, and you start yearning to sleep through the night to have the energy to face another day.

Moreover, while you’re trying to come to terms with your losses, you find you have problems making decisions, concentrating or planning for any long-term or a short-term goal.

You are not alone.

Here, the key is to look for healthy activities that give immediate gratification. Now is the time to nurture or cultivate a new habit that can bring you into the moment. It can be a self-care routine you could never indulge in before because of your busy schedule, like starting your morning with your favourite cup of coffee.

To make this experience more meaningful, add a healthy twist to it by making it your quiet time. You can do a quick body scan, creating a body and stress awareness, accompanied by a corresponding relaxation response, while concentrating on your breath, you can focus on each body part.

This quiet time can help you identify your thoughts, allowing you to plan your day and thereby set your intentions depending on your energy levels, so you don’t overshoot yourself. Doing so can be the first step toward greater acceptance of your shortcomings and the things in life you can’t control.

Hopefully, staying calm and grounded will prevent the recurrence of herd behaviour after watching a video of two buyers fighting over the last toilet paper pack led to a global shortage as panicked buyers started hoarding toilet paper.

Micro-actions add up and can be a force to be reckoned overtime. Creating any amount of space to check-in with yourself and your mental health is a step in the right direction.

(This post is for informational purposes and should not substitute for psychotherapy with a qualified professional).

Picture courtesy Unsplash, my thanks to photographer Sydney Sims.

This article was published in the Telegraph-Journal.

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