Lockdown

Life in lockdown – The impact it has on our mental health

Life in lockdown

With all the excitement we initially felt about the year 2020, we only reached mid March and then suddenly we are faced with the impact of the world being in crisis as a frightening Covid 19 virus surfaced. 

The virus spread globally at a super speed with the heavy impact of the largest and most dangerous “Supercell” tornado.

The overwhelming confusion, chaos and uncertainty of being in lockdown and faced with a silent killer leads to feelings of anxiety. 

We become addicted to watching the news for guidance, reassurance and information as we are sent into a “grief” like state for a while.

We try to digest what is happening to make sense of it all as we feel so disorientated.

 

How do I adapt to life in lockdown?

I tried to figure out how this instruction for “lockdown” would play its part in our lives.

Of course, none of us were mentally prepared in any way and naturally there are the logistics of changing our lives in such a dramatic way. 

A challenge for parents who no longer have outside support and are trying to home school for the first time.

NHS workers, key workers and carers are faced with all this emotional distress without the luxury of having the time to digest and reflect on how to manage it.

Straight out to work in really difficult conditions feeling scared as they are facing the reality and trauma of seeing people die from Covid 19.   

 

The effect lockdown has on our mental health

We have been in lockdown for 8 weeks now with still so much uncertainty about when it’s all going to end.

Without clarity and with so much chaos and uncertainty, along with the fear of illness or worse still death we can feel immensely threatened. 

This can lead us to feeling anxious, angry and on an emotional rollercoaster leading to low mood or depression.

When we become triggered by an event such as this our “threat system” is activated. 

This threat system that I am referring to is called the Amygdala, our fight or flight response. It’s purpose is for threat detection and protection so we need the Amygdala but we don’t want to overuse it.

 

Looking for solutions rather than focusing on the problem

After an initial short period of loneliness, boredom, low mood, anxiety and guilt about “what I SHOULD be doing,”

I retreated into myself to reflect and I decided I can use this period as a self healing and growth spurt.

New activities to keep me sane include:

Daily Joe Wicks workouts which has resulted in me valuing exercise even more and raises serotonin levels/endorphins

I’ve baked cakes valuing eating cakes even more (I concluded the 2 things balance each other out)

Mindfulness walks out in nature which includes Vivary park and beyond over Cotlake Hill, Netherclay nature reserve and Long Run

Meditating on a daily basis which reduces stress, anxiety and develops the prefrontal cortex, known as the “soothing system” 

House party and Zoom meetings with friends including those I have not connected with in years. 

Before all this happened who knew about online Apps such as House party, Zoom and TikTok?

Colonel Tom Moore has become a legend as he raises £32 million for the NHS as the momentum continued with much media coverage as we all needed this positive and uplifting man to help us all feel anything other than utter despair.

 

Reflections and resources available

There has never been a bigger challenge for our society and indeed the world in my lifetime than this current period of lockdown. 

It’s okay to feel low, anxious, negative and pessimistic about what the future holds.   Just be mindful that you don’t want to get stuck there …  

You can always aim to look for a positive solution, sometimes it can be helpful to discuss it with someone who is calm and rational.

Connect with friends & family preferably by video rather than just texting, exercise, meditate, bake, cook healthy meals, walk in nature, cycle .. 

 Alternatively you could write a journal so you can reflect on this period in your life.

One day we will look back on this period in our lives and reflect back based on what we have stored in our memory.  Life before and during lockdown!

– What sort of memories are you making right now? 

– Are you reaching out if you need emotional or any other kind of support?

– How has this period of self reflection helped you think about your life, what could you change and what solutions are available to you?

-How do I/we adapt to life in lockdown?

 

There is a quote: “This too shall pass”  and it will, hold in there as it’s a really tough period we are going through.

Reach out for support and don’t keep things bottled up.  There are plenty of people out there who will support you if you allow them to .. 

If you feel you may need some professional support then please do get in contact with me to discuss your situation.  

Text/call me on 07967 753460 or message me by using the contact page.

https://dianeknight.co.uk/counselling-in-taunton/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ

The link if you fancy giving the Joe Wicks workouts a go. Highly recommended!
A recommendation for a meditation to reduce anxiety and stress!

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