Ironically ‘Adapting to change’ is the subject of my latest life coaching module, I don’t think the timing could be more poignant. Like all of us, this past week has been full on, with totally overwhelming emotions at times, but I believe some of my own learnings and observations may be helpful to share if they help someone else.
Although these are unprecedented times, I do believe some of the things I’ve learnt about myself over the past few years, as well as from the coaching community and self studying is helping me navigate these difficult times.
I am very self-aware of my emotions and know from past experiences how my mental health has and can be affected by isolation and negative thoughts. I’ve become really aware of how important it is to put myself in the right kind of company and take the right steps for my own health. Although that may seem selfish to some, prioritising your own mental health is as especially important during these difficult times. As someone once said to me, ‘what good are you to yourself or anyone else if you’re not well’. Never has that meant more to me!
At times likes this it becomes very clear that everyone adapts to change very differently. I know that my own coping mechanism is to try to stay positive. Some might find that stance annoying, but for me it doesn’t help to keep going over the dark side of our current reality, I prefer to focus on the things I can affect and the light at the end of this tunnel.
There is so much advice on social media at the moment on ways to protect yourself from excessive anxiety caused by the spread of the Coronavirus. The impact of this virus is impacting everyone in unbelievable ways, but in my different ways. As I live on my own I’m very aware of how isolation will have an impact on my own mental health, so I know I have to take steps to decrease the negative impact as much as I can.
I’ve just jotted down a few of the things I’m focusing on, perhaps they might help you too, but as we’re all different, try to find the best way of coping that suits you.
- Exercise, preferably in the fresh air if you can…. I love to run!
- Yoga, not just to support my running, but it also helps to keep my mind calm
- Reducing the amount of news I read and removing myself from negativity as much as possible
- Filling my social media feeds with positive stories – as there as some amazing stories of bravery, community and caring for others
- Video rather than message friends so that I get to see people’s faces rather than just messaging
- Ensure the people that I surround me ‘virtually’ keep me propped up not pulled down
- Ensuring I am focused and challenged in my job and my boss is aware of how I’m feeling throughout this time
- Make the most of the conditions I do have – continue with my paintings, learning new recipes, journalling, progressing with coaching course, planning for the future and of course writing my blog!
- Be there for the friends and family that have been there to listen and lift me when I’ve needed it
- Offer practical help to friends, family and the amazing community around me
A big shout out to the amazing friends that have taken the time to check in to see how I’m doing and all those living on their own right now, it’s not easy, but I really believe that as a community we’ll get there, and we’ll make it a better world because of what we’ve all been through.