Do you experience that gripping feeling of fear that you can’t explain? Do you feel that heaviness and need to cry for no reason in the early hours of the morning when many of us are often alone. The world and the day’s business not yet distracting our thoughts and our fears.
I think many of us have experienced it, especially over the last 18 months.
It’s hard to block out the daily news of another lockdown, another virus strain, the tally of cases and deaths on top of the rest of the ‘normal’ bad news from around the world.
I have heard so many utter ‘will it ever end’, and understand how hard it can be to stay positive when there is so much uncertainty surrounding us all. In addition, the normal support and human contact with our family and friends taken away from us just adds the to enormity of the problems in our troubled minds.
But one thing will always be there.
We always control our reaction. We can choose to curl up and give up, or we can choose to accept and make the most of what life throws at us.
I know, not always easy.
Keep reading for some things that I do to help me stay calm and be in control of my reaction.
Writing your thoughts and feelings down gets them out of your head and frees your mind up to be still and see any issue in a new light. Writing doesn’t give us a solution, but it helps. The old ‘problem shared problem halved’ is so true. Keep a notebook handy next to your bed for those mornings or nights when you feel anxious.
Staying in regular contact with family and friends either via online, phone calls or in person if allowed. This is important for anybody living by themselves like me. You also may never know when your call may be just what the other person needs that day. Reach out. We all need to feel connected. It’s a human basic need, not a sign of weakness.
Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins and triggers a happy feeling. Get yourself moving!
If you can’t get outside or to a gym, just do what you can inside. Put the music up high and dance. Do a yoga session. Get some cans out and do weights. Walk around your place. There is so much inspiration available online, just tap into it and get moving.
If you can get outside, go for a daily walk or a bike ride. If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, even better. The fresh air and sunshine will do your body and mind wonders.
When Covid first hit and I had to work from home, I started a regular daily yoga routine. I have had no back issues since. I feel strong and it soothes my mind.
Take time out for your existing hobbies or start new ones. Spending time on what you love doing is the best mood enhancer.
I love being creative. My passions are writing and taking photos.
Emerging myself in a fiction story is a wonderful way to escape the real world for just a few hours. I can bring characters and events to life with my imagination.
Taking photos requires me to look at everything around me. My lens acts like a child’s eye, taking delight in the smallest details; a bright flower, rain drops on a branch, reflections in a rock pool, the shape of a cloud.
What we put into our bodies affects both our physical and mental being. We all indulge, but I know if I eat too much chocolate or drink too much coffee, my brain gets that fuzzy feeling. It slows down and my body feels sluggish. But when I eat well, not only do I feel good about myself, my body also responds with additional energy. My problems and daily tasks no longer enormous obstacles.
As long as I eat healthy most of the time, I can have the odd indulge. My body and mind are strong enough to accept that sometimes I just feel like chocolate and that is ok.
So much in life we have no control over. Especially now.
But we can choose to accept our situation and we can control our reaction to it.
I am a firm believer that we are all where we need to be at any moment in life.
That does not mean we have to always just accept like a doormat. If we want change, then we can choose to change our lives. But if we do not have that control, we can accept and choose to be ok with our current situation. To still feel joy in some part of our lives. Maybe as simple as watching the rain outside dropping on the plants still living. Maybe it’s watching a good movie on Netflix, reading a brilliant book, preparing an enjoyable meal. So many simple things in life can bring us happiness. We just have to focus a little harder sometimes.
I hope, wherever you are and whatever your situation, this post has given you some helpful tips.
Stay safe and keep yourself well in body and mind.