That’s it, another country lockdown is planned for the 5th November (is the date a coincidence?), and I know most people have just had enough of it all.
So what can we do to keep our heads straight, when the world around us seems to be losing the plot?
We’re all going through a rollercoaster of mixed feelings and sometimes we may find that it’s just impossible to keep them at bay, especially when our lives are being disrupted so extensively, irrespective of which side of the argument you sit on.
I feel 2020 has been a year of looking inwards, as we have been pretty much told to stop and stay put, and with all of the time in our hands, boredom gave way to many new creative endeavours. Some found pleasure in learning to bake (if you managed to find yeast and flour), some found train sets, Corgi cars and Scalextric to be the new thing (or an old thing revisited with granddad) putting Hornby back into profit after many years of losses and fear of closure, some just preferred to relax while watching TV series after TV series (you know who you are), some took up Yoga or Qigong, others just read books and completed many courses on subjects they put off for years. Others worked throughout. Others, unfortunately, fell deeper and deeper into bad habits, anxieties, overwhelm and fears, losing track and sight of their values, skills and strengths. Humans feel overwhelmed by life when there are too many small and big things to deal with at the same time and cannot find a way out from it all, fire fighting over the urgent priority fires becomes the norm and there’s no light in sight.
If you are one of these people, I want to say straight away that you’re not alone.
And you want answers, support and help to turn your life around.
I have created this list below of tips and ideas to help yourself feel better, not just for the short term, but by doing these things daily (print the page, stick it on the fridge and the bathroom mirror), let them become good habits with practice, and the positive compounding effect of all of those small steps, will have a profound impact on your future. 1- STOP! Really, stop what you’re doing for a moment, breathe, feel the breath going through you as if your whole body is expanding on inhaling and releasing on exhaling. Take a couple of minutes to retreat within yourself. Do this several times a day.
2- Tap. Use EFT, also called Tapping, to effectively change the way you feel about things. Find a therapist to teach you the ropes and get you started or download the free Tapping Solution app by the Ortner’s to start you off.
3- Make time. For yourself. We all say that we do not have time to do the things we want, but are we really able to afford not doing them? You cannot draw water from a dry well, and you cannot help others if you’re running on empty yourself. You’ll end up resenting your kindness and creating
stress in your relationships. Give something up like TV after dinner, instead dry brush your skin followed by a relaxing bath and an early night. You’ll be surprised how something so little can have such a profound effect on your wellbeing. Just do something for yourself!
4- Meditate. This has been quoted to Ghandi but it is a on Zen teaching: “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one”. You don’t need two hours, you can start with a simple 10 minutes guided meditation you’ll find free on apps like Calm.
5- Call a friend. Or charities like Mind. If you feel alone and you have a phone, call someone. Don’t put it off, don’t feel like you’re not wanted and you shouldn’t disturb them. Just hearing a friendly voice (or a face on a video chat) will immediately relax your nervous system and allow you to get back in control. Don’t put it off, do it when you need.
6- Watch a funny video. Perhaps a funny movie, keep a dvd handy of your favourite comedy episode. And sit down to watch it.
7- Good nutrition. I can’t stress enough about good nutrition. And quality supplements. Just a daily addition of Magnesium* can improve sleep tenfold, Vit D3* will improve on S.A.D. and depression symptoms and Vit C* supports the immune system and reduces inflammation. What’s that not to like. So cook from fresh and learn to batch cook, the internet is full of support groups for batch cooking ideas. And if you truly feel you need more help speak to your GP, find a coach or a therapist. Don’t waste a minute more, there is always a way out from all of the hardship you may be experiencing.
Tamara Flumignan – @LyncroftStudio – www.LyncroftStudio.com
*References: 1.Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015;7(9):8199-8226. Published 2015 Sep 23. doi:10.3390/nu7095388
2.Okereke, Olivia I et al. “The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL-Depression Endpoint Prevention (VITAL-DEP): Rationale and design of a large-scale ancillary study evaluating vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid supplements for prevention of late-life depression.” Contemporary clinical trials vol. 68 (2018): 133-145. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2018.02.017
3.Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins – by Thomas E. Levy (includes over a thousand referenced studies on vitamin C)