listen to the blog here:
I was driving a few days ago when all of a sudden: "COVID-19 is a mental game" emerges from my mind like a candy bar being dispensed from a machine! Does that only happen to me? When your brain spits out pithy expressions...
Why did my brain decide it was going to tell me this pithy claim? Well, probably because I have been dealing with all of the mental side effects that these times have created.
In my opinion, this pandemic has been WAY more of a threat to my mental health than to my physical health. (I am not saying that the virus is not agressive or serious, but that I have had to take care of my mental health as a CONSEQUENCE of not wanting to get PHYSICALLY sick. Meaning... staying in my house in isolation like the rest of you).
Taking care of yourself physically and mentally has always been a FULL time job. (And it should be our number one priority). For most of us, before all this, we had fabulous routines that were more or less balanced and allowed us to focus on different spheres of our lives. Whereas now, we are learning to adapt to doing everything we used to do, but in the confinements of our own homes.
Some of my most useful mental health practices were things I can NO LONGER do such as working quietly in local coffee shops, practicing yoga at my local studio, having drinks with colleagues in local bars and spending time with my extended family for Sunday suppers gathered around the kitchen table. And I will be honest by saying, no longer having access to all of those locations, activities and events REALLY shook my up for quite some time.
I am sure I am not the only one who felt lost and like I had to restart from scratch to find NEW ways to get grounded, check-in with my mind/body and take time for ME. So I want to know:
What have been your BEST mental health practices you have discovered or rediscovered that have been helpful to you during quarantine?
ON TOP of not having ou go-to strategies to get us rebalanced and grounded, our minds are unwillingly being tested; their buzzing and bouncing around all over the place, trying to process new feelings, unexpected realities and unwelcome problems. This is most caused by, what I like to call: UNCERTAINTY and LACK OF CONTROL.
Uncertainty will take us down. Letting that uncertainty (driven by anxiety) take control of our minds and our emotions is dangerous. I sometimes find myself going there in my mind and the red flags go up. I know, when I get lost in my thoughts, I start to worry and I don't have my two feet in the present. I try to project myself too far into the future and that is an unhealthy territory. Why is it unhealthy? Because me, you, your neighbour, or anyone have NO CONTROL over our future. And, guess what - we never have. It is just a lot more evident now.
That uncertainty is also the underlying root of all the questions we might be asking ourselves or worrying about subconsciously in our minds. Questions such as:
We don't have any of these answers and will only know when the times comes. Being at peace and accepting that these are questions unanswered takes time. The answer I most often give myself is: I do not need to put time and energy into thinking about these questions because when those times come I am strong and am able to handle whatever life throws at me. I am doing good right NOW and that's what counts.
Other ways I calm my mind and spirit have been :