If you have an anxiety-related condition, your mind may already be on high-alert and the Coronavirus pandemic might feel like justification. The cliché advice to keep calm, is sound, but everyone has their moments when they just can’t.
Emotional flexibility is a sign of good mental health, and you would think that the better your mental health, the better you would deal with a crisis; not necessarily so. Some of us have a somewhat upside-down stress system, where we seem to panic when things are fine, yet become calmer in situations other people find stressful. Whatever you feel about change, you are probably no stranger to self-isolation. Avoidance is a common stress-mechanism. As bad-taste as it may seem, I did consider ordering a load of t-shirts for the coaching.care webstore saying:
-because this is something most of us are good at. Perhaps we will rise, relieved, with the rest of the world after the lockdown is over, and realise just what we have been missing in terms of the big-wide-world.
Whatever happens, life afterwards will be different, because change is the only thing we can be certain about.
If this pandemic helps us to realise just how blessed we are, then all the chaos will have been worth it. If we live five more minutes or fifty more years, may we be grateful. Life is preferable to the alternative. We may not need all that we have, but lock-down in our lovely homes full of stuff to entertain ourselves with is not something to complain about.
In one apartment block, someone posted a message that neighbours could call them if they need help; another had a grocery delivery slot and offered neighbours who need any food to add to the order. Community spirit flourishes in times of need.
If you are house-bound with family, it might be helpful to think of some keywords like compassion, tolerance and self-empowerment. It might be hard not to become irritated with people you simply cannot escape. Protecting your own emotional energy will become important and simple exercises like cleansing the space around you might be as central to your peace of mind as your health. Be willing to use ear-phones or ear-buds when you are tired of listening to people who have no interesting anecdotes from the outside world. In families, allow each other time to just rant and offload, while also allowing yourself a limited time to quietly criticise and complain about family members in your own mind. Speak to someone outside the house every day and video chat where possible.
Most importantly, as long as the Coronavirus hasn’t penetrated your four walls, and we pray that it doesn’t, limit your discussion about it to three 20 minute slots per day. If you read every news bulletin and talk about it as often as you think about it, you’ll just end up with the Worry-Virus. Distract yourself from worrying and build up a routine for yourself as quickly as possible, to do things which need doing, so that you can only then do things you want to do.
Before we know it, this confinement will be done and we will all be finding a new way in a newly formatted world, with renewed enthusiasm.