How have you been coping with these strange and challenging times?
For me the start of lockdown felt surreal. Like I was stuck in some sort of blockbuster movie from which I would wake up to normality again.
I struggled for weeks and needed time to process what was going on in the world; to adjust to this strange surreal reality of ours.
My coping strategy was to cut down on the news and social media, as all the COVID-19 news was getting to me. I could literally feel the collective energy of anxiety, fear, and grief and watching the news constantly did me no good at all. I kept myself busy with endless tasks and walks to calm my mind and to avoid worrying about a situation that was out of my hands. But even though life was turned upside down in some ways, I’m grateful that somehow I could focus on the positives in my life after the initial shock.
I’m very lucky to have beautiful surroundings on my doorstep as well as a lovely tiny garden – both have been a blessing for my mental health and I actually learnt to take some time out for me, to be still, to be gentle with myself, to just be.
I can only talk about my experience, and share what has been helping me to cope with these troubled times, hoping that it might help you somehow.
- Growing vegetables from seed has been a rewarding and satisfying project
- Working in the garden, noticing all the seasonal changes, and how they affect nature, and myself.
- Signing up for a diploma course in a subject I’m really interested in and getting my brain engaged in studies.
- Getting inspiration from a fellow photographer to make sourdough bread. Making the starter and the bread both takes patience and is a labour of love. Every bread I make now is better than the previous one.
- Napping. I have never been able to nap during the day, but I have become quite good at this, sitting on my favourite sun lounger in the garden.
- Walking or cycling for hours and consciously being present, noticing the views, the sounds and the smells around me.
- Reading books I haven’t had time to read in the past – lots of them.
- Reflecting on my values, and streamlining my life as much as possible.
- Letting go of all that no longer resonates with me, and feeling the relief of releasing what doesn’t bring joy anymore.
We all need time to process what has happened, as it has touched every one of us in different ways. We’ve seen how this fast-moving world of ours can be brought to a grinding halt so very quickly. Will it be the same as before? Nobody knows. As government is trying to ease us back into the new normal, we all have a different view, a different story, a different mental state.
Stay safe & well x