One of my biggest challenges has been managing my anxiety, mood and energy levels. With the stage 4 lock down being extended, I am the first to admit that I am suffering pandemic fatigue! In our “Resilience Skills for a Pandemic” webinar series, Kate and myself shared some strategies for managing physical and mental wellbeing. Now more than ever, I am scheduling some “self-care reminders” to nurture me through the following weeks. Here are a few:
Get present and breath. When I am anxious, so much of my time is future focused, usually predicting the worst. Taking time out to take 10 deep belly breaths, helps me connect with the here and now and creates some time out from my “monkey mind.” Engaging in some regular mindfulness practice helps me to better observe my thoughts, and connect with my feelings. From this space, uncomfortable thoughts and feelings have less control and I am better able to connect and savour what’s good.
Focus on your circle of control. In this pandemic so much has been outside of our control. Taking the time to identify what is within my control has been key for me maintaining a sense of agency. The pillars of exercise, healthful eating, sleep and connecting with loved ones are things that I can control and take action towards.
Manage your news feed. The 24-hour news cycle is full of doom and gloom. Checking in once a day to a reputable news source has allowed me to stay informed, yet not be overwhelmed by negativity. I think now more than ever we need to be more selective with what we feed ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally.
Be Kind. Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown has been challenging for us all. The resurgence of partisan politics and political points scoring has made me reflect on my personal values. For me, I would like to focus more on compassion, empathy and hope rather than blame. Like the political landscape, we all have our own inner critic. Exercising some self-compassion and being kind to yourself and others is key if we are to recover well.
Is this helping or hindering? This could either be a thought or a behaviour. Asking myself this question has given me the space to choose how I want to show up in this world moment to moment. What I want to stand for and who I want to be! All too often we can think and act in a way that moves us away from what we value in life. This question has helped me be more accountable.
Trust. The other day when feeling a little low, I was reminded by my wife Karen, of all the challenges we have faced as a couple. She helped me reconnect with our strengths and our resources that have enabled us to overcome adversity. The take home message: Have trust in yourself; your ability and that this to shall pass J J.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.