I am writing this at a time when Sydney, where I live, is in the midst of COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown. This means you may be confined to your home, your mental health is affected, your business is going bust or you’ve lost your job.
It can be challenging.
All our lives have been affected, often in ways we didn’t want and didn’t invite. So, a lot of what is happening in our daily lives has been taken out of our hands. You can get mad, sad, spit and curse. Or you can make the best of the situation.
Here is my response to the gyms and dance studios being closed during the COVID 19 crisis:
Yes, it’s hard being stuck in isolation for weeks, especially if you live on your own.
You can at times be swamped with depression and fear, wondering when and if it will all end.
It really is ok sometimes to be sad, but to stay in and be stuck in that state will not serve you in the short or long term.
When disaster strikes – and it will many times in your life because that’s life – strike back.
Spend a day feeling sorry for yourself if you need to and then get up the next day and decide what you can do to take control of the situation.
You see, you can be reactive and let things happen to you, which can create a sense of hopelessness, or you can be proactive and list the things you need to do to take control, then do them.
- Get rid of all the things in your life that you’ve been hanging on to but which no longer work for you
- Make a list of and focus on what resources you do have
- Find out what help you can get and ask for it, as we all need help at times
- Plan how you can use those resources to your best advantage to go forward
- Every day make a plan to build on those resources by the actions you take
- Find the benefits in what has happened and what you can make happen
It’s sometimes painful to look for benefits in disaster but there are always some if you look for them, even if you have to look past the pain to see them.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve finished off many projects that I previously didn’t have the time to finish. I found new ways to do things I need to do in my everyday life.
I got inventive. Since I can’t use a leg press at the moment, I made an equivalent contraption of elastic and weights that I can use at home. As the dance studio is closed, I took to dancing on pointe on the rough planks on the bridge in the garden 25m above the ground, much to the amusement of the neighbours.
Everything in life is determined by the way you choose to see a situation.
You can disasterise or you can look for the opportunities in everything that happens. You have a choice of seeing the glass half full or half empty.
Remember: in every breath, there is opportunity, so search for it again and again, especially when there appears to be none.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath in Sydney. You can get help by booking an appointment with me at the Australian Health & Education Centre. I am the author of the Amazon No 1 Best Seller Inspiration for Survive and Prosper: Personal Transformation Out of Crisis.
DISCLAIMER: *Many factors will be important in determining your actual results and no guarantees are made that you will achieve results similar to anyone else’s. The nature of therapy requires each person entering therapy to actively engage in the session and to carry out any additional recommendations outside the session, so results vary according to the individual.