Mental Health Checkup During Coronavirus
A lot of us were part of the furlough scheme that came into effect around the beginning of April 2020. Lockdown came to Britain and we all stayed home to stay safe. Let’s not forget about the social distancing that we’ve all had to adopt.
It was easy to feel isolated, alone and many were showing signs of mental distress. There is a danger that too much focus on a situation that you can’t control can lead to further lowness. The thing is: it’s out of our control so we must choose to move our attention to what we can control which are our words, thoughts, actions and behaviour.
Feelings of negativity can be quite strong but when we begin to sense those feelings of anxiety slip in, we need to refocus our attitude and ask ourselves certain questions:
- What is the experience teaching you?
- What benefits can you bring to yourself and others at this time?
- What are you grateful for?
- What can you plan, say or do to help?
- What can you control and what is outside of your influence?
Mentally when you sit and overthink negatively, you are actually giving your energy to these things which effects your mood. When negative thoughts try to come in, challenge them with the opposite and maybe ask yourself the above questions.
It isn’t a crime to look after yourself every once in a while and getting yourself into a positive place is not only beneficial for you but will be for those you have contact with. If there’s a feel-good film that makes you emote in a positive way, watch it or if there’s an activity you know de-stresses you then do it!
Taking a break from the news can also help you. Often we see negative after negative report that although may be important, can bring you to a lower place. Take a couple of days off from it (and maybe media in general) and really detox.
Lockdown gave us an opportunity to ‘pass the time’. Some chose to watch TV and order in a lot of junk food, while some got around to reading that book they needed the time for or learnt to bake and enjoy time calling friends they kept meaning to contact. See how this paragraph chose the word ‘opportunity’ as opposed to a more negative word?
Sometimes we all get lost in the day-to-day, deadlines and the ‘next thing’ rather than stopping, which the lockdown did successfully for what seems like most of the world. Our suggestion is not to let it take another pandemic to stop us but factor in ‘quiet times‘ to your lifestyle.
It’s important to find meaning in who you are, not just what you do. If it helps, maybe use these questions:
- Who are you?
- What are your likes or dislikes?
- What are your values and how have they changed?
- What are your short term and long term aspirations?
- How are you helping yourself and others find meaning?
- How can you look after yourself better in the future?
Expressing yourself is important and if you have any artistic leanings then… lean! Painting, drawing, singing, writing poetry are all good outlets for expression, see it as a release.
As we’ve said: only when you’re on top form can you help yourself and others effectively. Think of it as an investment into seeing you continually reaching your potential in every area of your life.