I’m going to start by being super blunt. I am mentally drained, physically exhausted and quite frankly tired of the cycle we all seem to be unintentionally engaged in. We are programmed to switch on the news and get up to date with that’s going on around us. We are scheduled to wake up and check our phones in the morning. All of this, yet we never programme ourselves for time out or a minute away from the madness.
As the pandemic progresses, so does our involvement in technology. It’s all online now. The news, the hacks, the lectures, it’s all there. And it isn’t going anywhere. But what seems to be drifting further and further away is a happy brain and healthy outlook on things. Bit difficult considering the air is smug with uncertainty and the statistics are getting scary.
Now I’m the type of person to keep a cool detached demeanour, yet burn inside with anxiety. These are the things most people won’t see. I am not always positive affirmations and flowers but in fact a fragile being just trying to heal without causing damage elsewhere. The concept of healing is one thing, but that is not what we’re discussing this week. This week I would like to shift the focus onto acceptance and absorbance. I’ve been practicing this thing lately where when I’m faced with a challenge or some bad news I don’t analyse it for long but I take it in and accept that it’s the now.
Too often we feel low and useless for whatever reason and we kind of swamp around in that. Then we do this funny, yet miraculous thing that we humans do, which is blissful ignorance. We decide that a lot of the time, rather than resolving something that causes us upset or pain we just procrastinate it, avoid it and all together ignore it. This seems effective enough until you wake up one day feeling its pressures more than ever and, in fact, have to face it all over again.
I’ve buried a whole sea of things attached to trauma and so on, but have now come to realise that this still lives inside me. So, during this lockdown these things and thoughts we have all tried to bury are coming to light and you may find yourself feeling depressed, lacking appetite or motivation overall. This is all normal, please don’t forget that!
The other day, I woke up and could barely look at myself in the mirror. Instead of expressing gratitude and being grateful that despite the situation, I have food, the internet and a roof over my head; I frowned at myself and the two strands of hair latched onto my eyelashes. I felt frustrated. How can one wake up so miserable with no apparent reason?
I spent at least three hours being agitated about being agitated. I didn’t want to tidy, eat or hang out with friends online. I simply wanted to be left alone. Once the day was over, I lay in bed reflecting on my mental health. I realised that in order to feel realigned within myself I’d have to detach from a lot of stuff. This sounds a lot easier than it actually is. It takes 21 days to form a habit, and that’s what you need to keep in mind. I believe this is a method worth attending to as it enforces everything else to flow healthily once achieved.
Recently I’ve noticed that no matter how much you stress or obsess over a thought or situation, stressing will not pave your way out. The way out is ‘taking stuff on the chin’. Literally. I’ve decided to stop entertaining people constantly, keeping tabs and all of that. It can get very routine–like unfortunately and can cause mass fatigue, even if all you’ve done is lounge round the house passing time. Forget physical fatigue for a second and just contemplate the concept of mental fatigue.
Grasp what it is to size yourself up as you walk past the living room mirror wishing you were elsewhere, in another place, another body, another mind. Now that is drainage and it’s OK. We tend to forget that all of this is normal, as we feel trapped in a cycle we have no power over currently. We are feeling useless, deflated like a balloon, not able to change the current situation we find ourselves in. This too is entirely OK. Here, we are brought back to absorb and accept.
My steps to this are as follows:
- Ground yourself when needed. Place both feet on the ground (as explained in my last blog), count things of similar colour or shape within your perimeter.
- Brief yourself. Whether you do it out loud or in your head, express what’s going on, your thoughts and emotions. This is important as you then automatically initiate the process of processing and absorbing.
- Instead of looking at the never ending list of things you have to do, say out loud what you have accomplished so far. It’s necessary to remind ourselves of progress not just stress.
- Listen to music that doesn’t influence your mood negatively (I tend to fall prey to this form of self-sabotage quite frequently; pay close attention to this as a lot of the time, we fail to realise when the lyrics of a song become our own thoughts).
- Take 10 deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this without rushing and without interruption.
These are some of the tricks I try to put into effect, usually a mixture of these does the job.
If there are any specific subjects you’d like me to shed light on, please let me know. Send your suggestions this way in a private message. See you next week!