We are in interesting times and there is no doubt about it. We are in a time of massive change and for many that means a time of fear. We like to think we are in control of a lot of things in our lives and we make choices that we feel are right for us. Until recently we took for granted that we could move around and travel freely, that we could buy what we wanted, and that we could choose to turn a blind eye on some of the things that were happening on this planet, because it wasn’t happening to us.
So now here we are, most of the world has been affected. we find ourselves limited, not able to move around, having to change the way we live our lives and suddenly realising how much we took for granted. All this for something we cannot see, and because we cannot see it we fear it… but this is not the only thing we cannot see, we are and have always been surrounded by various viruses, bacteria and organisms. This one is different, not because it is worse than any other, not because it is taking more lives than any other, but because it has had an impact that others have not… It has brought a level of fear that has never been experienced by most of us in our lives… people cannot stand next to each other, people cannot see the people they love, children are having to be taught at home, and many are wanting their ‘Normal life’ back.
There have also been other changes that are notable through this time… the air is clearer, because the skies are not full of planes. smog is clearing because the number of cars around cities has reduced. waterways in Venice are clear for the first time in decades… and it appears the hole in the Ozone layer is decreasing. Nature is continuing to do what nature does and is not affected by this. People are considering others, and there is a new respect for those people that, through their work help us to do what we need to, neighbours are talking to each other and people are checking up on each other, we are also appreciating the value of the internet and seeing it as something that can support us rather than just something to entertain us, or to use for work.
It is important to remember that even though the changes that we are affected by are not in our control that each and everyone of us do have something that is in our control… how we respond to the situation. When we are in fear, we put our body into a state of stress, when our body is in this state our immune systems are compromised, which in turn leaves us more vulnerable or susceptible to illness. Many people are continually talking about what is going on and how many people it has affected… generally that is all of us, but not all of us will contract it and while we will all die at some point it won’t be just because of this virus. The thing that has spread faster and affected more people is fear, uncertainty and a desire to go back to ‘normal’.
So, what can you do to support yourself and others through this time?
- firstly, consider your own health, including your mental health and give yourself time each day to be outdoors in nature. If you have a garden that is ideal. If not a short walk, if you can get to some trees, a park or a canal river or lake that’s great. It does not have to be for long. This is a natural stress reliever and will lift your mood and give you a bit of a boost.
- Take this time to learn to meditate or relax, there are numerous resources available on the internet and through social media. Even if you have never considered it, give it a go. Again it will boost your mood and energy levels.
- Use this time to start a new hobby, read a book or clear out your cupboards.
- Move your body, when you are less active you can become sluggish so play some music and have a dance around, there are loads of ways to exercise at home without equipment, again the internet is brilliant for this.
- If you have your children at home now, use this time to do something as a family, get creative and make learning fun, remember they are feeling this too. They associate home with free time and not learning so trying to implement hours of structured leaning will not be an easy task for all of you, they will catch up.
- Look for things to appreciate or be grateful for and look for new things each day. Make a list and see how long you can make it.
- Adapt, the things you eat, watch and do, get adventurous and try different things, create a new dish and experiment with what you have.
- Stay in touch with the people you care about, we are so lucky to have connection with each other in the way that we do.
- Join online groups that you find inspiring and that give you a boost.
- Enjoy a soak in the bath or a long shower.
I am sure you can add to this list, many of us have been given an opportunity to take a long hard look at our lives and the way we do things. Look at nature, she is thriving because we have slowed down. Life is not over, it is changing, maybe now is the time to ask yourself some deep questions, and be prepared because you could find answers you did not expect… Things may never go back to the ‘normal’ we knew, they could in fact be much better.
Sending you love, Be well