Bloomsbury newsletter, 31 March 2020
It is expected to have many and mixed feelings at the moment. Some of them, such as mild anxiety, for example, drive us into action such as buying the necessary things for ourselves and our family, maintaining hygiene, etc.
This is not bad in itself, but it is important to find the right balance. It is not good to avoid or overdo any activity. Save your strength for later stages, if the situation gets prolonged, as marathon runners do!
Let's remember all the things we can do and experience, even in this situation, as many of them can be positive.
Getting out for a walk, listening to music, reading, watching films, contacting friends, kindness and positive relationships with others.
It is important to be patient, kind, and gentle to others, especially not to judge those who are unfortunate to become ill.
Remember: no stigma!
In crises, it is common for us to experience shock first and then to adapt gradually. At the same time, not all people react in the same manner and it is important to understand that. We are expected to have ups and downs and our behaviours are expected to change. Let's be aware of everything around us! It is good if we can focus on what we can control, and not on what's beyond our control. We can control the things we can do for ourselves and our family - a schedule of activities at home or making a wellbeing plan.
Stick to your usual activities or adapt them to this situation:
Connect with family and friends - talk, have video calls, video hangouts (Zoom/Skype) play board games, etc. Tell others how you feel and what you need:
Do the things you enjoy. Read books you haven't had the time for, draw/paint, try some online dancing, singing, foreign language classes, watch a stage play or a concert on YouTube, sort old photos, do jigsaw puzzles, play with other family members, with pets, organize challenges, breathing exercises, meditations, or other exercises. Let your imagination run wild.
Reduce your immersion in information. We are constantly overwhelmed with information, messages, news.
Stress is a natural response when we are so overwhelmed from all sides. This also reflects on our body - we can feel tired and our immune system can become weaker. So, control your exposure to information. Separate fake from real news. We cannot escape the situation we are in, but we can adjust our exposure to the situation.
Monitor your moods. You can use this self-awareness scale.
Think about where you would put your feelings on the scale from 1 to 10. Let number 1 be the feeling of joy, and 10 be the state you are in when you feel really bad. Remember how you feel when you are happy (your thoughts, the feeling in your body, how you feel). Remember how you feel when you are unhappy (your thoughts, the feeling in your body, how you feel).
Prepare a plan in advance on how you will cope with feeling unhappy. Make a mini-plan: "When I feel unhappy, I will take a break, I will play my favourite song, I will call someone on the phone". By taking quick action you can help to make the situation easier for yourself.
Set up a time when you will start worrying:
Plan and have an awesome day!
And finally, keep your sense of humour. Find the light in your situation, remember to laugh and bring joy to others. We are in this together.