I am really conscious of people struggling with their mental health right now; I’m told repeatedly that Counsellors will be much needed AFTER the event; for me I openly feel we as a profession are needed RIGHT NOW. In a bid to be proactive instead of reactive I’ve amended an earlier self-care blog to fit with what we face today and the weeks ahead. Please share with friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues to give them all a foundation to keep up with self-care.
What can you do to value yourself?
• Accept how you feel each day and do not berate yourself for not feeling how you think you are supposed to feel right now.
• Understand that your feelings and thoughts will change throughout the course of a day, week and month; check in with your moods and notice just how much they change hour to hour. Awareness of this will let you know that thoughts and feeling do pass- they aren’t permanent.
• Don’t feel like you’ve achieved much today? Have rest day. Try again tomorrow, and if that’s a rest day too- embrace it. Listen to what your body is telling you that you need.
• You are important and you are loved– remind yourself of this by scheduling a video call or telephone call with someone you care about each day or when you feel you need some extra support. Chances are that they need the support too.
• Enjoy any time to yourself in YOUR way– if that means no toxic friends and family then so be it. If guilt feelings creep in, sit with them until they pass- and they will pass once you see the benefits of keeping your distance from people who drain you negatively.
• Incorporate activities that bring you positivity. There is much publicised about starting a new hobby or online courses; all great ideas but if you have a family, are a key worker or are supporting others then this won’t be realistic for you. Make realistic goals, not ones that set yourself up for failure. Even if that is as simple as a nice long bath; if that makes you smile then it’s worth it.
• Take a walk- connect with nature; make the most of the exercise time we’ve been allocated as it will help you work through issues, de-stress and re-balance your mind, alongside the obvious health benefits. Make sure you take into account the social distancing rules for your own safety and those around you.
• Ask for help when you need it: Click Here Whilst these aren’t normal times- you aren’t expected to be able to cope all of the time, and this will be true once lock-down is lifted too. None of us can cope all of the time, and once this is a realisation then asking for help becomes that bit easier.
• Emotions are amplified right now. Emotions change under the influence of alcohol and drugs so please be wary that if you are already feeling low and feel tempted to drink beyond the Government guidelines or use more than you might usually, then please ask for help, as these situations under lock-down may increase self-harm, suicide and suicide attempts.
• If you have suffered grief and bereavement either before the virus or during it then self-care for you right now is the best gift you can give to yourself. Make yourself a priority.
• The financial climate has changed in the event of panic buying, redundancies and reduced wages. Spend only what you can afford to spend and please buy only what you need to buy; in doing so you are supporting yourself by not going into debt and maintaining the diet that you need to survive. You are also supporting others by ensuring there is enough food for everyone by not indulging in over-buying.
• Keep active around the house; this situation is not forever. If you do have spare time focus your energy on what you would like to do as well as what you need to do. This is an opportunity to tackle all the jobs you never get around to doing- imagine the weight of your shoulders completing an assignment you’ve half touched, finishing off that half painted wall, finishing of that book that’s only got 1 chapter left. An increase in crafts all over social media is inspiring and astonishing; if you are creative then give into that impulse; Pintrest is a great resource for this.
I recently blogged on ‘Take a moment for your New Normal,’ indulging in this may be the biggest positive change you can make right now and it’s all in the name of creating the life you want. We may never get a better opportunity to address what we want to talk about, change or achieve; make this time count.