If you are reading this, then the chances are you are one of the many millions of people across the globe being asked to stay at home to help curb the spread of Covid-19. At this very tricky time it can be difficult to see clearly. To help, I have put together 6 ways you can support yourself during this time.
1) Make a friend phone list
Whilst we are physically isolating as individuals and small groups, we are going through this collectively. Meaning, if you are finding it tough, know others for the same reasons are too. Create a friend phone list, and speak to someone from outside your household every day. We feel better when we help ourselves and others because it is in our nature to want to connect and be compassionate.
2) Spend time outside in nature
Nature is wonderfully harmonising. Get outside every day and be sure to visit as many different ecosystems each week as you can. Most people are able to get to 2 or 3 different habitat types quite easily (water, trees/woodland, open space). Each will give you something different. Nature is a great healer. This is also a good time to appreciate the world we live in and to be grateful for it.
3) Learn to do something new
Challenge yourself so you meet your human need to grow. This can be a craft like knitting, woodwork, gardening, cooking, yoga or a musical instrument. Even the task of home schooling or being at home so much, see it as learning something new and let yourself be absolutely rubbish at it to start with. Use the feedback you get to make refinements with the view to improving. It'll also give you something to talk about whilst you are doing tip number 1.
4) Meditate every day
Meditation doesn't have to be sitting like a pretzel and having no thoughts. To meditate means to have a single point focus. If for you that is gardening, walking in nature, reading a book, then do it with the intention of focusing on that and nothing else. When meditating, if the mind wanders, bring it back to your choice of focus. Meditation isn't just harmonising, it's also healing (stress-releasing) so when you are doing it, let whatever happens naturally in your body and mind happen. Meditation is also about creating a safe space for you to be yourself. When we are being asked to stay in the sanctum of our own homes, you could take that one stage further and develop the ability to be in the sanctum of your own awareness.
5) Be aware of where you are investing your energy
We feel what we focus on. If you are spending time reading pessimistic news reports, blog posts and social media, you may feel connected and informed but you'll also feel hopeless and negative. Bringing awareness to where you are investing your energy will help you make better investments. Making conscious choices to do things that make you feel good is the ultimate in self-care and the only sustainable way any of us are going to get through all this. Make it a habit to check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need right now, then take steps to act on it.
6) Give yourself permission to reach out and ask for help
We're social beings which means we're not meant to be alone, so you're not failing if you are finding it tough. Reaching out can be as small as asking a friend to check in on you or as big as going to your GP and letting them know you're not doing so great right now. There are millions of support charities and groups out there created to help those in times of need. There's also millions of people that wish their friends and community needed them more, so they had a reason to connect and be of service. We all need each other right now, so do the brave thing and say so and let's all role model working together.
There's no doubt, we are going to experience some highs and lows and continue to learn something about ourselves and others over the next year (there's nothing like being shut at home to force you to confront yourself). By going through the process consciously, we at least stand a chance of coming out the other side older and wiser and with new capacities.
Stay safe everyone, and look after yourself. Remember you can always reach out here. If you have any additional suggestions to add, feel free to put them in the comments below!