Published: 27/03/2020As a family-run business, we aim to deliver a warm, friendly experience, providing family like care. Supporting local businesses is extremely important to us, in which we frequently post our ‘Saturday Shoutout’ to highlight the fantastic businesses around Norfolk.
In light of our current situation, a member of our marketing teams mum, Lou Goldsmith , a local, Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor has kindly put together some really useful tips to help with the different and uncomfortable feelings we may experience during this period of isolation.
If anyone feels they are in need of counselling and feels Lou might be the person to help, during this time she is offering telephone and zoom counselling sessions.
Business phone :
- 07539 274876 - Lou Goldsmith Counselling Services
Everyone is focused on anxiety, but actually , anxiety is natural and normal and will most likely escalate after the event has passed. This is when we start to allow ourselves to think more about the consequences and our brains start to process what has actually happened. Until then it is in 'survival mode' and will be focused on taking control where it can.
Isolation however can easily bring on depression as our sense of freedom decreases, things we looked forward to get cancelled, and managing a huge change in our routines, our sense of purpose and negotiating sharing our space with others 24/7. Is it surprising we can feel chaotic and low?!! For most of us, the ability to be at work, grabbing dinner with friends, or looking forward to a social event at the weekend helps reduce our sense of isolation and makes us feel connected and safe. It also stops us ruminating and helps us keep balance and perspective. These are important factors in reducing feelings of depression.
Here are some tips to manage some of these feelings-
1. Continue with any therapy or self development that you might have been partaking in.
Embrace the change of platform that you use . Most therapists will offer support via Skype or telephone and after a session or two, you will become familiar with this way of working and find surprisingly that you may even enjoy it more!
2. Nurture your relationships with friends and family with face to face or voice technology.
Whether through Skype, FaceTime or voice message be intentional and deliberate and regular about being in touch with others. This helps us feel connected in a very real sense that messages do not provide.
3. Be mindful of how much media you consume.
Do you really need to watch the news before bed or first thing in the morning? Do you really need reminding throughout the day how terrible it all is, how many deaths and how badly some people are behaving? It is of course important to stay informed, but consider a routine of once a day for the news and monitor and restrict your scrolling through digital media. Your brain reacts to what you feed it! If you feed it doom and gloom all day, your body will oblige you with the appropriate response- more adrenaline- more fear.
4. Build projects and events into your calendar.
Although life is on 'pause' it won't alway's be this way. Spend some time daydreaming about all the things you would like to do in the future. Loosely plan for activities in the Winter or next year. Maybe even make a vision board to remind your brain of all the things there are to look forward to.
What things can you do now for yourself or around the house so that when you finally emerge from this crisis, you emerge a better more organised person?
Maybe there is a hobby that you have always wanted to try- look online as there are so many good things on offer at then moment.
5. Continue to eat healthily and move in healthy supportive ways.
Though it might be tempting- now is not the time to eat processed food. We need to build our immunity at this time with healthy food. Perhaps you can try a few new recipes and build your own file of 'healthy favourites'.
Be creative if your usual way of keeping fit is unavailable at present- such as the gym. There are plenty of other ways to keep fit online and remember hobbies such as gardening can really keep you fit.
6. If you can, take a walk and be mindful of your surroundings.
Nature is a huge support to our mental health. While we are limited to where we can go, we can start to become much more focused on our immediate surroundings. This means we can appreciate the marvellous things around us that previously we would have missed due to our busy lives. Mindfulness brings happiness. Notice the spring flowers, the blue sky and the heat of the sun. Life is still good.
7. Reframe this experience as a chance to do what you normally cannot.
Its easy to tip into despair at what you can't do but when one door closes another opens as they say!
Although the situation is serious, to support our mental health, we need to view this time of change as an opportunity to finally get some of those things done that we kept promising ourselves we would do. Is there a project that you can start on or maybe you can plan for it?
The more we train our brain to reframe situations and look for the positive, the more we can help depression symptoms that may otherwise spiral out of control in these times.
8. Routine- Keeping a routine is important.
When we go to work, we naturally do this. Suddenly finding yourself at home can throw our routines out, especially at the beginning where things feel a bit novel and almost like we are on 'holiday'. However, this is a mistake when it comes to managing depression.
Motivation is gained in doing things, where as sitting around will decrease motivation as it provides space for ruminating. Rumination is the prexquisite to depression.
Your brain will oblige you with what you feed it ( thoughts) and this will in turn effect your feelings and behaviours.
Take charge of your brain and send the message that you have important tasks to achieve and routine will help you accomplish this.
Creating a habit of gratefulness will help you look on the 'brighter side' of things. Glass half full or half empty? Looking for feeling grateful for what we have is the key to happiness. Yes life is unfair, yes we all want more, yes we all have problems to solve and yes we all get ill and struggle, but no matter how bad things get, we have a choice as to how we view it and therefore how we react or respond.
10. The power of choice.
Understand that the greatest gift that you can give yourself is to learn to respond to all difficulties, no matter how bad, with calmness and gratitude for what you have had.
Our situation may be dire, but there are still many who have worse lives than we do. Appreciate you are in many way's privileged with good health care, plentiful food and warmth, a roof over your head and most likely people who love you. Some live without all of these for all their lives. Understand that if you are grateful for everything you have and have had, there will be no sadness, no regrets.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. Even if one of them is of use, you have done something positive for yourself in reading this today.
Keep well, stay safe and keep smiling. Life is still good.
You can find more information and help on Lou Goldsmith's website.