Coping with COVID-19

Suddenly the rug has been pulled from beneath us; it is as though time has stopped and our lives have been put on pause- yet we also feel a rush of panic and desperation – especially if you go on social media and the News and worry about the rapid spread and ever-increasing number of casualties from #Covid19 

Some people feel DETACHED – like it’s not happening to me, is it even real?  then feel guilty for not feeling terrible (or maybe even feeling guilty for not being ill with Covid19 when others have caught it?).  

#Lowmood  I know lots of people who are just feeling sleepy and spending hours in bed, me included. Am I experiencing Covid19 mildly? or is like an instinct to preserve our bodies in case we are exposed to it further down the line? One of the main symptoms other than flu is severe exhaustion. So maybe our instincts are telling us to rest up. Anyhow we can only do what we can do. 

#COVIDARMY Others feel a huge rush of energy the need to help, to rush around, whether is panic buying or checking on all our friends and relatives and many have not choice because they are key workers, working on the frontline. I salute these people and am thankful for their energy and selflessness. I have no doubt there are frontline workers who are absolutely exhausted, you didn’t ask to be in this position and need psychological support.  (If this is you please go to this source). 

Whether you are flat out, super busy or isolating at home, I want to do my bit by writing about our mental health, particularly on #mindfulness as I found mindfulness really helps me with my poor mental health, which dates back to childhood. For those of us who are feeling helpless and tearful and realise we can’t cope like others seem to be able to, well It is perfectly ok to feel this low mood, in fact it’s a perfectly normal reaction to the tragedy of Covid19. If we start to notice our feeling and take note of it, it is called #Acceptance. It is the opposite to running away from problems, and can actually be more physically draining than a 10k run!   The first step of ACCEPTANCE is noticing what feeling we have right now and then saying ‘yeah, I’m feeling that because….’  More on #Acceptance in a longer blog here. 

I tend to link #Mindfulness and #Meditation, interchangeably as I learnt them simultaneously and can’t do one without the other, but whichever you come to first, I feel you can gain comfort especially if you give it your attention, patience and time. 

#Mindfulness teaches us to totally accept the present in what every form of ‘stuff’ it throws at us. So if you are familiar with mindfulness you will probably agree that NO WAY COULD OUR HEADS HAVE PREPARED US FOR COVID19, as it  is the worst pandemic in most of our living memory and none of us have witnessed disruption on such a large scale (maybe we have experienced personal tragedy, eg bereavement, or conflict etc) but nothing on this scale that affects all our lives in some way.    

So the main message here is that ITS OK TO FEEL SAD, to perhaps feel ANGER or FEAR and to WORRY.  This is our innate fear or flight instinct kicking in, helping us prepare should we need to suddenly take more drastic action. But for most of us that will not be necessary. 

We are mostly trying to ISOLATE and to stay put, so the frustration we are feeling is also quite natural. For those who want to rush out and help and want to do their bit in a more physical way, It reminds me of at school when all the jumpy energetic children who really needed to burn off steam where made to stay in at break-time! I believe that this excess energy definitely needs to be channelled and there are useful articles elsewhere about exercise in confined spaces and fresh air and keeping occupied.  OR do what I’m doing and join in the dialogue about mental health, visit our Facebook group. 

The purpose of this blog is simply to introduce you to the idea of noting your feelings and your thoughts and to notice whether it is frustration or anger, or confusion or fear. Are you able to notice the different emotions and what they feel like? and then to console yourself with the knowledge that its ok – THIS IS A NORMAL REACTION. YOUR THOUGHTS ARE PERFECTLY OK.  

If you need to speak to someone to get help in describing your feelings, or if you feel helpless you feel it would help you to get some comfort by talking to someone, please visit our ‘Get Help’ page.