Mental health continues to become the main talking point for many people, especially as many of us are still confined to our own four walls for hours upon hours!! One of the big (non Covid) talking points recently was the shock withdrawal of American gymnastics superstar Simone Bile’s from the all around and womens team events at the Olympics. I can fully understand just how much pressure she must have been under as the defending champion & #1 in the world; and even with all the possible support that professional sport can provide, she was still able to reach the point of saying “enough is enough” and that her own Mental Health was more important than anything else at that time!!
Although I am no expert in dealing with Mental Health, my own experience many years ago with the pressures of a corporate job and more recently dealing with the effects of Covid on the business, it is the gradual burn that builds & builds that you have to watch out for and deal with otherwise, just like Simone, it simply breaks!! Can I also tell you that once you’ve experienced Mental Health, it is always underlying and can, & will, be triggered with very little warning.
I have jotted down a few ways I try to stay on an even keel and release the mental pressures …
Take Each Day As It Comes
It’s important to acknowledge and accept the reality of our times. Whilst we may have strong feelings about what is going on, it’s important to try & just let it “wash over you” and not let it completely control your life. That may, of course, be easier said than done as the uncertainty of how long lockdown will last heightens our anxiety.
As you know I like to plan, and Covid has certainly changed the way I think & now operate on so many levels. Whilst we can still plan & make goals, they might need to be daily, and even hourly, in the current environment, as once again, we sit, patiently awaiting the resumption of some kind of normalcy to return as time continues to tick … Time that will never be retrieved; which is all the more reason, perhaps, to focus on taking control of what we can and trying to enjoy that!!
Embrace The Change Of Pace.
Enjoy the little things, the slower pace and the quality time you can share with the people you live with. We have always wanted, more time, time to slow down, time with family, time in general … Well now we have it!!
Be kind and gentle on yourself & check in on your neighbours. Just shout over the fence!. And, if you want to be a little creative, relabel it!! … Rather than calling it a lockdown, say it’s a special state holiday or “home vacation”.
Homeschoolers – Do What You Can
My latest “Weekly Insight” had a link to a video that I’m sure every teacher, & now probably parent with school aged kids, would like to do!! But I honestly feel for parents at the moment; those still having to work, look after the home plus help school their kids … It’s no wonder both parents & children alike are saying “I can’t cope”!!
The added pressure of home duties is real, and maybe friends can serve as a soundboard that provides an outlet to struggling parents who dare not display their emotional turmoil in front of their children or partners.
Some worldly advice suggests to accept that you simply can’t successfully work full-time AND homeschool (not well anyway) … So don’t stress about the homeschooling … Just do what you can by providing as much support as possible. Know this situation will not be for the rest of their schooling life and every other parent is feeling the same strain. Because … You are not a qualified teacher, you are qualified and amazing in your own profession and you are doing the best you know how.
Get Fitter Or Be A Lazy Sloth … Maybe Both?
Whilst gyms, sporting clubs & health studios are all closed, there really is no reason not to work on your fitness levels … Whether it is moving outside (there are plenty of people taking their fitness equipment & speakers to the local parks & doing their own workouts!!), or increase your participation in our online classes. (Our Online Yoga Community now has Strength & Pilates classes each week as well as Yoga & Meditation). The Pure Yoga Online Community is now a one stop shop!! Meaning you have everything your need to become fitter instead of fatter this lockdown.
Or … There’s also the comfort in doing absolutely nothing. The beauty of lockdown is that you have ample time to both exercise and spend hours on the couch (if that is your wish!!) … And there is still at least four weeks to go to be that lazy sloth you always wanted to be.
Walk As Therapy
Reacquainting yourself with parks and discovering nature trails hidden in your local area can be the most rewarding perk of lockdown and boons so well for mental health – particularly if you’ve been sitting at home in front of a computer (or TV) all day!!
If you’re able to walk outside with one other person a day then do it!! Set (& stick) to a routine. If you don’t enjoy the silence then listen to a podcast or your favourite tunes. I mix up my walk every day, never taking the same route back to back. This makes it fun & you begin to notice new & unusual things that you had never seen before. Personally, I stay away from the crowds because this makes me anxious (people simply are not doing what they should); so if that’s you, then chose the backstreets!! … Or go super early or really late!!
But most of all, make it something to look forward to … Especially as the weather at the moment is absolutely fantastic!!!
Make Sure You Get Dressed
Get out of your pyjamas and get dressed every day (even if you don’t have to go to work). I am not a “stay in my PJ kind of girl”; there is just something that brings in negative vibes & energy if you don’t get yourself “ready for the day”!!
If you want to see the day through the lens of positivity, then start by wearing some fun, happy, comfortable bright clothes. I’ve been pulling out some great old relics that I haven’t worn in years and it’s a bit of fun too (And scary!! … Seeing what you have hidden in your wardrobe!!)
Start A Project
Acquiring new skills or finishing off a project helps turn lockdown into a productive endeavour. Today with online learning so freely available there’s opportunity to do almost anything now online & at your own pace … You are only restricted by your own imagination!!
You could learn a new language, take up painting, build something, start a side business, master a new skill or take up a new hobby … It certainly whittles away the hours & it’s so important for Mental Health to do & learn new things!!
I’ve just signed up to learn freestyle hand writing!! Something I’ve always wanted to have the time to learn. And this lockdown period has given me just that!!
Turn Off The News
Let’s face it, it absolutely benefits no-one to be scrolling around & living your life around press conferences … I say “TURN IT OFF”!! Yes, you need to be informed at what is going on & what restrictions might be imposed on you but as I like to say, if I need to know something important, I guarantee someone will tell me!!
Often the media feed our anxiety through sensationalism … Even their tone of voice when they report is fearful – all doom & gloom. There is way better uses of your time & energy than to get sucked into the “hype”!!
How I Can Help
My Healthy Mind & Body Community consists of a mixture of Yoga Classes, Meditation Classes, Pilates Classes, Workshops & Retreats. All of which can help calm the mind, relieve stress & anxiety and maintain balance in your life.
Please visit our Yoga Page for further information or contact me to see how our Community can help.
With Love, Light & Kindness 🙏