Who could have ever imagined how much and how quickly our world could change?
Since we first heard about Corona virus, every day seems to bring something new to adjust to, and it feels like so much of it is out of our control.
Its really not surprising that many people are struggling with difficult feelings of fear, sadness, disbelief, loss, anger, worry, numbness, denial, and uncertainty to name a few.
Will we ever take toilet paper for granted again?
When will life go back to 'normal'?
The Stress Response
As we are hard-wired for survival, our brain, which is constantly scanning for danger, activates our ‘fight/flight/freeze’ response.
This leads to the release of various chemicals in the body that help us to take immediate action; usually running or fighting.
Whilst this might help with our physical survival, it can also leave us exhausted, unable to concentrate and it may affect sleep or appetite.
Its understandable to look for quick solutions that help to distract or numb us from these difficult feelings.
Some people may find themselves eating more, drinking more, smoking more, sleeping more, watching more television – anything to get through the day right?
However, whilst these strategies may give short-term relief, they can lead to bigger problems in the longer term.
So What Helps?
Treating yourself kindly and gently, and establishing regular daily routines are a priority. Focussing on what you can control.
Paying attention to your body’s basic survival needs of water, food, rest, movement and social connection.
See if you can include gentle movement such as yoga, or walking (including some time outside if possible), planning what and when you will eat, sticking to regular sleep times, every day.
It’s also really important to maintain connection with family and friends, and to limit exposure to news media.
Its important to engage in activities that will soothe the nervous system.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is to gently focus on breathing.
Begin by exhaling fully through the mouth, emptying all the air out of your lungs, noticing your chest and belly fall as you do so.
Then allow your lungs to fill back up naturally, breathing in through the nostrils, paying attention to the feel of the air flowing into your nose and down into your lungs and noticing how your chest and belly expand.
While doing this, you might also want to think about dropping your shoulders, and noticing the feeling of your feet on the floor, or your spine pressed into the chair, as you gradually draw your attention back into your body, while still gently breathing.
You may then want to have a look around you, what are three things you can see? Listen, what are three things you can hear? What can you smell?
If it’s all starting to feel overwhelming, there are many safe and confidential options available to get some extra support, with phone, video and web-based services enabling you to reach out, whilst maintaining social distancing.
More information: https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/
Online free Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
Active Seniors: https://www.activeseniors.net.au/
Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/
Smiling Mind: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/
Confidential counselling appointments available via Zoom at Smooth Sailing Counselling
Phone: 0478 917 540