If, like me, you hate to be caged in, you may be experiencing coronavirus blues when you’re in lockdown or isolation.
I normally spend between 10 to 14 hours a week at the gym and the ballet studio, but at the time of writing this, they are now both officially closed.
I imagine you may feel curtailed in what you normally do before the effort to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus hit.soc
We have to keep our physical distance from people in public, people look sideways at each other in the lift, social gatherings are cancelled and we often don’t know who is contagious and who isn’t so we fear for our and our loved one’s health.
Yes, life has been upended big time and is full of uncertainty.
You may even have lost your job, find your business is under threat, had your income dramatically reduced, not be able to pay your rent or your bills. Meanwhile the government is full of promises but it’s hard getting money out of them when you need it.
Relationships often come under stress when you’re locked away together, hour after hour.
These are indeed tough times and may well get tougher if you get ill or someone you know dies. It’s a war zone.
Unsurprisingly, it’s hard not to get depressed at times and focus on all the things that could go wrong because we are human and are meant to feel emotions.
But these circumstances, if you let them, can really bring the important things into focus.
The fact that you are alive, the sun still rises, people can be nice and you have lived another day. Let it focus your mind on the blessings in life, whatever they might be for you, no matter how large or small.
Ask yourself the question, “If this is the last day of your life, how do you want it to be?”
I write this after last night my partner was singing along in our lounge with people from her choir on the internet via Facebook Live. Earlier in the day I’d been dancing on pointe shoes on the concrete in the garden and we’d both made an effort to make life better for ourselves and other people, animals and the planet.
Here’s what to do in these challenging and uncertain times:
► Focus on what you can do at the moment, not what you can’t
► Stay in the moment and focus on the present time – the ‘now’
► Pay particular attention to the good news items so you are not overwhelmed by the media coverage which tends to focus on the negative
► Find pleasure in the little things
► Count your blessings every day, no matter what they are – you can even start a gratitude journal and write it in each day, either when you wake up, before you go to sleep or both
► At the end of each day, just as you’re about to go to bed, acknowledge the things you did achieve throughout the day – that may be work-related, family-related or just something you enjoyed
► Be the bigger person and say ‘Sorry’ when you are grumpy and frustrated
► Have a pleasurable hobby that takes your mind somewhere else for a while – reading, playing games, playing with your children or pets, or simply daydreaming
► Use your imagination to work out what you can do to go forward in a positive way
► Phone a friend, post on social media, write a letter, send an email – stay in touch with other people virtually
► If you are in trouble, reach out to your loved ones and friends for help
► Be a friend to a mate and offer something that might help them, even a kind word
► Every day do self-hypnosis, meditation, prayer – whatever works for you
► Spend five minutes every day being a professional happy person and laugh out loud (if you need inspiration, there’s some pretty funny memes and videos doing the rounds on social media)
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath in Sydney. She is the author of The Amazon No #1best seller Inspiration for Survive and Prosper: Personal Transformation Out of Crisis.