Tag Archives: how to emotionally manage isolation

Imagination Can Take You Anywhere.

2 Apr

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Join them in their world when they’re little, so you’ll be welcome in their world when they get big. – L. R. Knost.

Thanks to Libby Clews for her “paper bag head child” inspiration, and my beloved Wolfie for making my day by day images x

Create Calm.

1 Apr

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It’s one of our basic needs, the need for security, which is triggering fear in many people. Although many things are out of our control, we need to keep working at reducing and releasing fear, panic and anxiety because it over activates our flight-or-fight mode. When we are in what I call Meerkat Mode, our body wants to take constant action. Because present circumstances make that a bit restrictive, it’s possible that the tension that builds as a result of being ready to pounce on problems begins to physically hurt a little. It could also be the reason that people are getting ants in their pants and pushing the boundaries of their bubbles. 

Calming our mind and soothing our system is not a luxury thing to do, it’s vital. It will help us through this long haul experience.

Parents, be sure to grab a small moment each day, just for yourself. Today I found this super cool kids meditation, that is 15 minutes long, which I also adored. It’s free. Why not lie down together and listen, and make it a shared part of your day?

https://insighttimer.com/discoveringmypurpose/guided-meditations/boosting-immunity-and-feeling-calm-in-this-time-of-coronavirus

Grown-ups, below is my most favoured way of reducing stress, that I learnt when I trained in Mindfulness.  Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

 

 

 

 

Ignite Hope.

31 Mar

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Hope and fear cannot occupy the same spaceMaya Angelou

Hope is allowing ourselves a peek into a positive future. It’s about expecting and desiring that this will work out. It’s about believing that good things really do happen. It’s about remembering that magic exists, beauty surrounds us, and miracles are possible.

Hope lends us slivers of happiness which uplift us and make difficult situations easier to bear. Hope grows into optimism which encourages a positive belief that we really do have the inner power and strength to step into the unknown.

All the things we do for ourselves or with our children that are prevention measures,  show we’re in control and can solve problems. When we’re proud of washing hands and wiping things down, when we celebrate covering our nose and mouth with a tissue or elbow when we cough or sneeze, when we follow the rules, we shoo away feelings of helplessness. 

If we seek to make the best of a situation we’re in by seeing new experiences more as a challenge and we laugh and share our failures and successes, we role model hope.

Keep activating logic and facts which are reassuring because reassurance offers hope. Our immune systems are incredible and fight off germs all day every day like a super hero. Keep quoting hopeful facts. Most people who do get the virus recover 100%. 

Answers do exist and the more we cheer on the great people helping others and put our trust in the experts out there working around the clock, using their incredible brains to discover breakthroughs, advances in medicine and solutions for all the problems, the more we keep hope alive.

People are amazing and helpful and resilient. Let’s keep using heartfelt encouraging words to ignite hope in ourselves and others, and once we ignite it, keep it alight so it illuminates the way forward. We’ve got this.

 

Inhale Courage. Exhale Fear.

30 Mar

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If posts about people cleaning cupboards, doing yoga, crafting, making preserves and cookies is causing you to worry or panic that you’re not in that “positive” space, breathe low and slow, and know that you are not alone. This isn’t a sprint to a predetermined finish line, it’s a marathon and we are all in it together.

Covid-19 has changed how the world works. It’s ok to pause and it’s more than ok to be experiencing grief (whether we recognize it or not) because the new reality is that there are people all over the globe that are sick or afraid of becoming sick. They have lost loved ones, jobs, clients, incomes, autonomy, roles, identity and hopes and dreams. Fear and anxiety comes with the territory.

Shallow, upper chest breathing is part of a typical stress response but if your ribs are a bit sore, your chest feels tight, or you feel more light headed, a bit dizzy and feel tingly in your face or hands, chances are you are over-breathing, which can prolong feelings of anxiety.

The good news is, it’s not too late to notice it and fix it. We breathe effectively when our lower belly rises when we fill our lungs with air.  Slow it down. Breathe in and out slowly through the nose and extend the exhale so that it’s longer than the inhale.

Don’t

  • overthink
  • catastrophize
  • hyperfocus on the future, and get caught up in what-ifs
  • drown in negative, doom-filled thoughts. 

Do

  • meditate and relax
  • do things that truly soothe you
  • face fear and feel it and if you find it hard talk to a trusted professional
  • remind yourself that you are resilient and resourceful, and full of courage.

 

When we are afraid, we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger.  –Mark Rutherford.

Ease into Uncertainty.

26 Mar

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Our NZ government declared a State of Emergency, and our current COVID-19 Alert Level is Level 4 also known as lockdown which is in place for four weeks or more. In summary, this means

  • Everyone must now stay home, except those providing essential services.
  • Only make physical contact with those that you live with.

It’s a normal, universal feeling to feel fear when faced with the unknown. As our news feeds fill with all kinds of stories, real, fake and funny, the reality is that 738 people died in one day in Spain yesterday, and 683 in Italy. It is vital that we all do our best to stick to the rules put in place to save lives and flatten the curve. The more careful we are, the sooner this thing will be over.

As a therapist, relationship expert and goodness influencer with 30 years of experience I’m here to help ease the possible psychological effects of these times. One of the first things to know is that unexpected and unforeseen events can cause a grief response which can take people off guard, especially when our daily lives have been full of work, social interactions, distractions, takeouts, and the freedom to move around however we want.

Everyone experiences grief differently.

  • It’s not linear, and it’s not predictable.
  • Don’t run from your emotions but do relax and regroup and don’t let them overwhelm you.
  • Know that confusion, sadness and anger in a time of change jumps around a bit while we all redefine our new normal.
  • Reassure yourself that each stage is normal and won’t last forever.
  • Take time to ease into what all of the changes you are faced with might mean to you.
  • Know that you don’t have to work it all out on Day One.

For reliable information on Level 4 go to https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/

If you want me to write about something specific, I welcome your questions. Stay safe. Much love.