So, how are you all getting on with this isolation?
It is very strange isn’t it? Are you feeling a little anxious, a little out of control – everything you had planned has had to go by the wayside – now what? Are you struggling to make decisions – can’t be bothered – having stomach upsets, picking arguments, or have you just stopped?
We are in an unprecedented crisis that has suddenly occurred and presents a threat to ourselves and everyone we love and care for. It’s frightening and makes us feel totally out of control.
The reason you are feeling a little anxious is that you have gone into the ‘fight or flight’ mode – for some reason this part of us has not evolved from the cavemen days, and any threat puts us into this mode, we are either going to fight or run away, despite not having anything to fight or run away from.
Your body is flooded with chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, your heart rate goes up your breathing becomes shallow, you become more alert, your muscles are ready for action and all the blood goes from your digestive system to your muscles ready to run! Even if your conscious mind says you are OK, in a group fear situation like a pandemic, anxiety is infectious.
So your body is saying run away – ..but we are being asked to stay put and stay calm! We are having to process a lot of information, make complicated decisions, and the result is lots of stress and anxiety.
Anxiety is not just mental it’s physical, cognitive and behavioural. You will notice all sorts of symptoms – stomach upsets, headaches, insomnia, it’s difficult to think straight and think rationally, and you may be craving sugar.
So what can you do to change the situation?
1. Breathe – if you can control your breathing you are telling your body it is OK. Breathe into your stomach, so that as you breathe in, your stomach comes out – fill it with air. Hold your breath then breathe out. In through nose for 4, hold for 6, out for 8.
2. Talk to someone – get on the phone and talk to your friends and family and use facetime so that you can see them as well.
3. Make sure you laugh a lot, watch some comedy films, look at all the videos coming out about the loo roll shortage etc, tickle your children and make them laugh.
4. Meditation is one of the best ways of calming the flight or fight reaction. Sit listening to your breath and every time your mind wants to tell you something just acknowledge it and go back to your breathing. Listen to music.
5. Cook – now’s the perfect time to experiment on some recipes for the family, but avoid lots of sweet treats, they will make things worse in the long run.
6. Tidy those cupboards that you have been meaning to tidy for ages.
7. Start knitting or sewing.
8. A great time to get to learn to draw or paint.
9. Make sure you exercise whether it be walking, running, dancing, Pilates, yoga etc.
10. Have a soak in the bath with some wonderful Tropic bath foam. It’s natural, vegan, smells gorgeous and will calm you right down. You could use the lavender pillow spray to help you sleep too. Just lusciously gorgeous – enjoy!