The end of 2020.....
Welcome to my first blog. End of 2020 and what a year it's been. I've been thinking back to all the thoughts and feelings that have run through my head this year in such a quick succession and ever changing. Before March, I knew there was a virus in a far, far galaxy (Ok, Wuhan, China) but didn't think much of it. It was a long way off us in the UK, our little island. I was happily, obliviously living in my own little bubble of what I like to call my normality. Then came March and we locked down, I went through feelings of anger, feeling scared, overthinking, worried about my kids education, stress of homeschooling, missing my family and friends and worrying about my business, meaning I quickly engaging on a online therapy course to keep going. It felt never ending. Every social media post you read had a different view, some made me feel angry, some made me feel guilty. I'm human too and I can read into a post that has nothing to do with me.
So, what has this done to our mental health? They say 1 in 4 people have a form of mental health. that's rubbish, 4 out of 4 have mental health, just like physical, we all have it and just like physical health it can get ill and we have to get treatment. Sometimes we just need a few tools to be able to rest and others we need longer. I'm not afraid to say that I dip in and out of counselling when I feel I need it. Now as I mentioned above, I've been on the roller coaster of emotions this year too. I've gone from the extremes of "Well if I get it, I get it" to "I'm not stepping out, only for essentials" and back and forth.
So, as we draw to the end of this year and what looks like can be another lockdown. Which can hold anther fresh set of worries, I've listed a few things that could be helpful to get you through, they got me through the last one.
Talk - It is good to talk, whether its a friend, family member, colleague or a professional, it can really help. It stops your thoughts running around in your head and expresses how you feel. It can give you clarification and make you feel not alone.
Brain Dump - A Stacey Solomon favourite. Write down everything that is going on in your head before you go to bed. It's safe and can be left there till the morning. I like to go one further and get some coloured pens. Cross out all the hypothetical things in one colour and all the things you can't control in another. Bet you're not left with a lot of things on the page not crossed out, if any at all.
Reality - Most things we worry about are hypothetical, they are all the what if's. How many times have these come true when you have worried about them? Not very often I can hear you say. Bring these back to fact. So at the moment the fact is "We are in a pandemic" "I'm doing what I feel is right to keep myself and others safe and I can't control others actions but it's ok for me to have feelings about their actions too".
Mindfulness - Try a 3 minute mindfulness, Body scan. (Can be found on YouTube) By practicing mindfulness it can help you live in the moment, this especially helps with anxiety where you tend to live in the what if's. Try and fit this in once a day.
Go for a walk with a friend, you can social distance. Being outside helps with your mental health and being with a friend releases the endorphins that helps with pain and boosts wellbeing.
Grounding - If it all gets to much and your mind goes into overdrive, use a grounding technique. name.....
5 things you can see
4 things you can touch
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste.....
This can help you ground to the present moment and draw you away from challenging emotions.
So, there we are, the end of a challenging 2020. I'm not saying it's over, far from it. We still do have a way to go, but whatever your doing, keep yourself safe physically and mentally and if you need help, please ask for it. Friends, family, doctors, A&E, walk in centres or Samaritans ..
Bye for now