I’m sitting in the dark (of choice) typing this on the WordPress app on my phone which I recently discovered because, well, my laptop decided to have a mind of its own and develop a faulty screen. I have now been without my baby for about 2 days, the longest time I’ve been without my her, I think. I do not own a television so I’m not watching that. Televisions are not my thing, really. I don’t know when that started but I haven’t owned one for the past 5 years or so.
It’s the funniest thing how I would typically spend my Saturdays indoors, resting and reading, perhaps shooting content for my YouTube channel or going to book club meet and listening to some very smart people share their perspectives on the book we would have read that month.
However, this Saturday certainly feels different because for the first time, I’m not “allowed” to go anywhere; to move about, to hang out with my crazy friend who gives me life or to go get frozen yogurt from Tutti Frutti. We had our book club meet online today and while it was interesting, it was different.
Had this Saturday gone the way it was supposed to, I would have been surrounded by family and loved ones at a cocktail dinner party in an amazing dress, with professional make up and amazing hair, feeling like Beyoncé et Rihanna with a good-looking date on my arm and dancing like there would be no tomorrow.
I can see it clearly in my head as I type; everything happening in slow motion with music in the background. I am dancing and laughing out loud, being twirled around by the most handsome man in the room as we attempt to out-dance each other. I’m sipping wine I don’t like (because I don’t like alcohol generally) and just having a great time. My nephew, who can now walk, is running to me and I lift him in the air as he squeals in excitement. Then again, if I know my nephew very well, he might be asleep or not in the mood to be carried by anyone since he’s now a grown man at 1 year old and can now make life choices for himself.
Life is funny. We make all the plans in the world but at the end of the day, it’s not up to us. There’s only so much we can control. Man proposes and God deposes, right? Hard truth right there. This is why it is important to make the most of life at any given life. Don’t wait until there’s a pandemic to want to travel and see the world, to take that chance, to do something you’ve always wanted to or be who you’ve always wanted to be.
I’m also understanding how sometimes, it really is the simple things that bring joy and happiness; how at the end of the day, it really is the simple things that matter; the things we often times take for granted.
Fresh air and long walks, a hug here or there from a friend or a loved one, a drive by to get frozen yoghurt, being able to hop on a plane to be with the people who matter the most to you whenever you want, walking through the supermarket and buying things without anxiety or paranoia, going out on Friday night with your girls to have drinks…
It’s day 5 of Lockdown and I’ve learned more about myself in 5 days of being “locked down” and in “self-isolation”; more than I have in the past couple of months, even though I’m not typically surrounded by a lot of people on a normal day.
I am doing the best I can to remain positive, I speak to my family and friends occasionally and I’m confident within me that we will overcome this. I know that God will continue to be with us. He never leaves us hanging. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did ask him some questions at the beginning to find out why this was happening. I needed to however make peace with not knowing why; with not having all the answers to every question I asked and I did make peace.
When this is over, I know the things I’m definitely not taking for granted. I hope you do too.
I know that this will be over soon, for this too shall pass.
It is easy to get enveloped in fear and anxiety in these times and with everything happening around us, including the increase in the rise of corona virus cases, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the bad news flying back and forth globally.
For the first time in a really long time, we really understand what we mean by phrase “the world is a global village” as everyone’s business has now become ours. We are concerned about where people we engage with physically have been (even though most of us are working remotely from home). We are worried about being in the wrong place at the wrong time even if it’s just to step out to stock up on supplies.
Some of us have gotten paranoid or had mild panic attacks at the sound of every sound of a cough or sneeze even when it’s coming from us! Suddenly, our breathing does not feel right and we worry that our immune systems may not be strong to overcome this pandemic. A little spike in our temperature is automatically cause for alarm. We are therefore putting in place safety measures that we hope will protect our physical beings and see us through this pandemic.
However, while it is important to consider and observe every possible safety measure known to mankind to protect your physical body from harm, it is also important to ensure that in this period, especially as you work from home or self-isolate, you do not neglect your mental health.
Your mental health; which includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affects how you think, feel, and act. Your mental fitness or lack of it has the ability to positively or negatively affect vital areas of your life including your physical health. You have the ability to “think yourself sick” in that if your mind continuously conjures symptoms in your head, you may become paranoid to the point that you believe that you have a particular sickness.
The importance of optimal mental health during this period cannot be emphasised. So, here are 5 tips to help you cater to your mental health in the midst of the current chaos.
1. Limit Exposure to News
There is a lot of bad news making the rounds on televisions and in social media. The number of confirmed cases and deaths of this pandemic keep increasing. There are also concerning events simultaneously occurring around the world at the moment.
While it is important to stay up to date and remain informed of current developments as they arise, it is also important to balance and filter the amount of information coming at you.
Too much of bad news can cause untold levels of paranoia, anxiety and depression. So stay informed, but as much as possible, consider limiting your exposure to moment by moment updates in the news. Stay away from fake news; avoid reading and spreading every Broadcast message you receive especially when its from unconfirmed sources.
2. Entertain yourself
You may currently be working remotely from home or on self-isolation and so spend the majority of your day indoors. This may get boring at some point in time.
It’s interesting how most of us who never had a problem with staying indoors for days at a stretch now suddenly feel bored or feel the need to step outside to see what’s going on. Well, I guess there’s something about loving something more when it’s done naturally and without force.
However, given the present circumstances, you will find yourself indoors for days to come. Find new ways to entertain yourself because your normal routines may become boring overtime. Switch things up and research suggestions on things to do.
A few examples are: read new genres of books, write (in your journal or a book you’ve been meaning to work on), listen to music, exercise, create content (make funny videos), take an online course, chat with family and friends online, engage in funny and entertaining threads on social media and watch lighthearted or YouTube videos.
Speaking of Youtube Videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel, BooksWithRachelEyo where I review books I’ve read. You can click the link below to entertain yourself and watch my latest book review!
No, meditation is not just about sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed while making humming sounds. Meditation is a lot more than that as it involves a using particular techniques like mindfulness to focus your mind on a particular object, thought or activity. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it seems.
By doing this, you are able to eliminate unwanted thoughts and clear your mind of any overwhelming feeling. You are also able to train your mind to be more attentive, stable and calm no matter the chaos happening in the world at the moment.
What you can do is take five to ten minutes of your day meditating. You can sit in an absolutely quiet place, close your eyes and focus just on your breathing or any other sound. When thoughts try to creep in as they normally would do, you mentally swat them away and maintain that quiet calm.
Praying also helps quiet the mind and keep the brain functional. This is because your body ultimately bows to your mind and the belief system you constantly reinforce therein. If you strongly believe that prayer will bring you peace and comfort, then it will. Prayer does not have to occur in a structured pattern. Just say it as you feel it and your spirit may just feel a tad bit lighter.
4. Keep in Touch with Family and Friends
This is another way to cater to your mental health during this period, especially if you’re self-isolating and alone. Talking to family, friends or loved ones can act as a much needed boost to your mood and general attitude to life.
As much as possible, resist the urge to self-isolate your mind. Reach out to people or friends you have not checked out in a while. Thank goodness for technology as we can now video call and voice call friends and family all over the world.
5. Stay Positive
I will be the first to admit that this may be hard to do right now, given the circumstances and the news that you wake up to every morning but stay positive.
Things may be uncertain or scary right now, but what you have is your attitude and state of mind. Stay positive, think happy thoughts, pray for those in need and stay hopeful.
This too shall pass. ❤️
Wishing you Love and Light,
We need all the positivity we can get. ❤️So, I’ll be sending out daily encouraging emails/newsletters to your email to keep your positivity level right up there, starting Friday, 27th March 2020. Click the link here to receive the daily and weekly emails and share with friends and family.