Thursday 9th September is R U OK? Day. As many of us are in lockdown, I thought it might be a timely reminder to highlight the impacts of lockdown. Perhaps OK is all you can manage at the moment. Most people are not thriving in lockdown. Perhaps you are not OK. Paradoxically, that’s OK too. If you’re not OK try not to beat yourself up about it. We all have times we are not OK – and these are extreme circumstances. Nothing like this has happened in your lifetime!
If what you are experiencing is unbearable or persists for longer than 2 weeks seek out help. You don’t have to do it alone. Studies have shown, recovering from not being OK is often much quicker if we catch it early and get professional help. Talking to a doctor and a qualified therapist can get you back on track faster.
Here’s some of the ways lockdown is impacting us:
- Lack of motivation
- Boredom (manifesting in a host of ways – agitation, lethargy, frustration, etc)
- Feeling stuck
- Feeling “blah”
- General tiredness and lethargy
- Anxiety (over health, loved ones, finances, uncertainty, whether you will cope, etc.)
- Frustration, irritation, and anger (directed at loved ones, yourself, the government, covid, etc.)
- Over reliance on comforts (whatever your coping is, for example, food, alcohol, shopping, work)
- Increased family conflict and domestic violence
- Increased tension, headaches, stomach issues, illness
What to do if you’d like to feel a bit better:
Connect with people who are important to you
- We need connection, regardless of what your self talk tells you. You may feel you have nothing to say but reach out anyway. Call, zoom, email, write a letter, send a card.
Dwell on moments of joy and happiness (past or present)
- Bring out momentos that remind you of times you have felt joy and happiness. Take down that box of photos from that great trip you had, put up fresh photos of the people you love, paint a wall your favourite colour, watch your favourite comedy.
Remember your self-care strategies that have worked in the past
- Perhaps you cooked new dishes, planted a garden, indulged a desire to draw or paint. Don’t wait until you feel better to do it. Do it and you may start to feel better.
Be brave and try something new
- If you have been avoiding that exercise class on line, give it a go. Take a virtual tour of a gallery. Order in a fancy meal to support local business and dress up for dinner.
Reach out for professional help
- Psychologically healthy people look after their mental health as well as their physical health. Many successful people have therapists or coaches. They are more likely to have a strong understanding of their coping mechanisms, values and strengths. They work at their emotional intelligence.