The picture for this post completely sums up my brain on a normal basis, but in the last few months this image feels even more apt!
Lockdown has been difficult for a lot of people and for different reasons. Moments of joy and peace in the opportunity to slow down and switch off; sadness at the isolation, loneliness and of course loss; fear of what’s happening now, and the potential of what could happen in the future – or what could not; anger and frustration, taken out on those we are closest too, because there is no-one else, or redirected towards the government (easy target). We humans are mixed bags!
The media is full of stories about who is being worst affected and how. Which population group, which business sector – the more I hear, the more I feel I can confirm that it’s impacting absolutely everyone and it looks like this story isn’t going to change any time soon.
A lot of people have been struggling, including me. I wonder whether half of the problem is boredom, having too much time on our hands. Some have of course used this time really productively, and taken up hobbies or courses that they hadn’t previously had the space for. Some haven’t had time for this, what with childcare, home schooling, working from home, and so on. But there has definitely been more time to notice our feelings. Certainly for me, I haven’t had time to actually ‘do’ anything due to childcare, but my brain has had plenty of time to think, what with there being nothing to actually do – that sounds strange but it’s true.
We humans are very prone to negative thinking, it’s our fall back position actually. For example; looking back at your time at school, many good memories, friends, some inspiring teachers, but your brain goes to ‘I was bullied for a term – god, I hated school, it was so awful – it was ALL awful’. It wasn’t, but your subconscious chooses to focus on the painful thing, in order to protect you from that ever happening again and keeping you safe in the future. Your subconscious decides how this pans out – not you!
So it’s easy in these tricky times to really get caught up in negative thinking, and to pay way too much attention to things that we actually have no business paying attentionto. The phrases in our heads: I’m exhausted, I’m depressed, I can’t cope, can all too quickly become real whilst we’re stuck on repeat in this way.
The negative self talk isn’t serving anyone in these challenging times – or at any time. I acknowledge it can feel difficult to get out of the loop though. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself some credit – you’re not alone. But it’s also not a competition on who feels the worst – which is kind of what I’ve noticed in the media somewhat. Imagine if the competition was about who can feel the best and generate the most success coming out of lockdown?! Perhaps this isn’t newsworthy enough…
4 things I recommend you do to get yourself back into a more positive mindset:
- Meditate, daily, even if only for a few minutes.
- Practice gratitude, daily.
- Wear an elastic band on your wrist, snap it if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts.
- Stop paying attention to the negative thoughts – imagine: what would life be like if I just stopped thinking “I feel so depressed”, and just got on with living?
If you have been feeling low, or not yourself, just try these things out for a week. I promise you will feel different – let me know how you get on!
Any questions, just get in touch here, I’m always happy to help.
What could be better in your life?
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