Mind: finding your positivity, peace and strength during isolation
Many people are struggling right now with the unprecedented crisis that we are facing because of the coronavirus pandemic; riding waves of emotions such as shock, fear, uncertainty, stress, boredom, sadness and grief.
As we deal with realisation that it might be months before we are able to enjoy the simple comfort of a hug from a friend – to feel free again – it’s more important than ever to look after our mental health.
Turning negative thoughts into positives is a great way of reframing a situation we might be finding overwhelming or difficult.
When we decide to look for the positivity in a situation, we take back some of the power we might feel we’ve lost when situations are outside our control – because we can still choose how we feel about things.
Here are some ways you can feel more uplifted, calmer and stronger during isolation...
Reflection, self-discovery and letting go
Lockdown has meant a significant shift in routine for most people. If you’re working, studying, or teaching from home, you’re probably saving commuting hours. Leisure time will more plentiful as most hobbies and social dates remain on pause.
What all that time creates is space to reflect. Are there some things or people that you miss more than others? What are you now more grateful for than ever? Perhaps there were simple things you took for granted, and other aspects of your life it’s time to let go of.
Have you learned something new about yourself, or rediscovered parts of yourself that you had forgotten in the rush of life before? Maybe your inner bookworm has found inspiration or escapism through reading, or you’ve fallen in love with a new language, or dusted off a musical instrument.
Ask yourself how you want to live your life differently when life returns to ‘normal’. There is time and space right now to listen to the answers…
Acceptance, journaling and meditation
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
One way I’m coping with isolation is to sit with being uncomfortable and practice acceptance of not knowing. It’s a fact of life that there is very little in our external environment that we can control - the coronavirus has been a reminder of that.
Remember though, we DO have control over our thoughts, which in turn create feelings and emotions in our bodies.
If our thoughts are fearful for the future, then our bodies will create toxic chemicals like cortisol that may result in lack of sleep. When our thoughts are about accepting the situation and thinking of how we can best use this time, then we will produce calming chemicals that protect our immune system.
Journaling and meditation are two tools that will help you express your thoughts or allow them pass, so they don’t become wounds in your body.
I’m keeping a journal during this isolation period, which helps express the emotions that I am feeling, rather than keeping them blocked inside. Why don’t you write a letter to someone in your family that hasn’t been born yet, explaining what it is like living through this period in history? I have often wondered what thoughts and feelings my beautiful grandmother had when she was young, so I would treasure such a letter now. Recording your day in this way might allow you create a balance between events and emotions.
Want to meditate? Guided imagery and muscle relaxation can lower anxiety and stress. Listen to my recording on ‘Protecting your immune system'. If you are new to meditation, this is a good place to start.
To go along with these tips about looking after your mind, part two of my blog will concentrate on how to give your body a boost through mood-enhancing foods.
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Be kind to your mind
Need support now? Book your free no-obligation online consultation available for anyone who is finding it difficult to cope or has a challenge they wish to overcome.