As we are plunged into another lockdown with ever-changing conditions and no clear end-date, we will all be impacted in very different ways. Many of us find it difficult to remain grounded in the swirling ambiguity of a situation such as this.
The anxious mind gets lost in cyclic thinking - we catastrophise; try to plan ahead to avoid every conceivable disaster; and we drive our bodies into further distress through disrupted sleeping and eating patterns. Many with anxiety curl inwards and avoid contact with others in an attempt to reduce stress (I call this ‘the armadillo’).
By nature and design, we humans have an incredible ability to flex, adapt and flow – far beyond that which we perceive when in the midst of intensely difficult situations
Most of us innately understand that intense emotions, such as fear and sadness, are a natural part of the human experience. The anxious monkey mind however, can’t resist incessantly fighting to reason with or push away overwhelming thoughts and feelings.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
So what can we change to increase our capacity to cope?
The Physical: stay active in ways that make you feel good; enjoy great food (in company if possible); create rituals for sleep that prepare you for rest more intentionally, ooh - and don't forget to get barefoot, on the grass, on the carpet, on the fluffy rug, whatever is accessible to you right now - it's very grounding for body, mind & spirit.
The Psychological: Limit news and social media; avoid isolating yourself and talk to your people; journal; get creative; provide stability through routine; focus efforts on activities that bring fulfilment.
The Spiritual: Meditate, pray, or find time throughout the day to stop, sit for a few moments, breathe and simply ‘be’. Sitting quietly and tuning in, brings you back to the ‘here and now’ experience and lifts you out of future-thinking and constant worry.
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
― Soren Kierkegaard