Coronavirus: a brief survival guide
Hey guys, how are you keeping?
I hope you are hanging in there. I know I am trying to stay positive, although I find myself emotional when I write this blog.
In the past few weeks I've heard so many people crying out for help in a way I've never heard before in my life or in my practice. And..it is all normal and it's all ok as the situation is not an ordinary one and not an easy one for sure. For many of us the lock down sounded a lot like a claustrophobic idea which is incomprehensible and beyond our belief system. But why?
Well, the explanation is that our brain develops in a way that it demands certainty. When we get into a situation where we must self- isolate (in this case due to Covid19 which we will remember forever I suppose) we get to be dictated. Now, humans don't like being told what to do even if its for the sake of human preservation. Where does this certainty goes, what happens next?
For some the uncertainty of what's next might lead to depression, put our brains to sleep. It is a defense mechanism which tells us to lock down, freeze until all this is over. Others will experience anxiety, a fear of the unknown or loss of people, jobs, their day-to-day activities. So there is a variety of emotions one will experience, as a result . The question is: what to do with these and how effectively we are able to cope with this palette of ups and downs.
Last week when I heard the news that we as a nation are locking down I felt two things: pride that we are all doing something together to prevent a global catastrophe, but I also felt frightened and insecure. Being a millennia myself I have never experienced such an occurrence on a scale like this. I felt unequipped, unprepared like any other individual perhaps who hasn't gone through wars or a major environmental turbulence. It got me thinking- what is the solution here?
The past few weeks had been invaluable because I learned a lot about the human psyche. I discovered that people are more resilient than they think they are and they are as adaptable as any other creature in the universe. A little research on constant updates thanks to social media taught me that most users take this situation very seriously and responsibly. There has been a lot of caring for the human being in general but most specifically there has been a lot of support between different groups of people too. Mums, dads, professionals, parental WhatsApp groups would share information, advise on different matters, unload experience and emotions. This to me sounded really healthy and normal.
Lastly, for those of you who have not been able to cope with this on-going process these are a few tips I would like you to explore:
1. It is ok to plan under normal circumstances but I'm sure you will agree that now its not the time to make long -term arrangements. Try to connect with the present, stay in it and make the most of it.
2. Create new patterns of behavior- now is the time. If you have always wanted to learn to do something new, just do it. Having a project or something to occupy your mind can be a life savior.
3. Keep connected to people who give you wings. Those are the people who will lift you up, who will make you smile and keep you on the positive side of the road.
4. Look after yourself- your mind and body!
5.Meditate if you can, it doesn't hurt.
6.Read any literature that will boost knowledge. There is nothing better than learning and why not start now when you have all the time in the world.
7.Stay active: run, jog, walk, cycle, do some strength and conditioning exercises at home.
That's all from me for now guys.
Shout if you need me!!
The Secret to a Better Mental Health
There are so many reasons for NOT going out there and moving (some of us will say)! But let's not confuse reasons for excuses, which can be plenty. In my practice, I have seen many clients come to me with a list of reasons why doing exercise and getting themselves going is a rather daunting and impossible task to do. And more often than not, there is always a pattern in how this particular cohort feels about themselves: demotivated, miserable, depressed, anxious, unhappy. And this is precisely how I feel when I haven't had the chance to exercise, so when I work with my clients I often promote doing sports on any level in order to help them feel better and cope with anything they might be struggling with. Here are some reasons why getting out there and moving is vital for one's well being:
Exercise boosts mood and energy levels
A large body of research has consistently shown that regular exercise is associated with a positive impact on your mood and energy levels. This is due to the fact that when you engage in a high-intensity exercise, your body and brain release endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals and hormones. In general, endorphins are chemicals that reduce the perception of pain and natural enhancers of feelings of optimism and satisfaction. Thus, regular exercise can help you achieve a happier state of mind.
Exercise is key to weight loss
Everyone knows that when you exercise (on a regular basis) you inevitably become fitter. It prevents excess weight gain because it is an activity that burns calories. The more exercise you engage in the more calories you burn over the amount that your body needs to maintain its current weight. This also increases your metabolic rate which helps burn fat quickly and effectively.
Exercise boosts not only mood but also confidence
Exercise is not only great for your mood boost but also extremely important for your self-perception. Once you start exercising and doing so on a daily basis, having it as a routine, you begin to feel confident in your ability to stick to it. Exercise is not only a physical activity but also e mental one. At some point, it starts showing you how much you can push yourself, how much you can achieve and chase goals. Often you hear about a great athlete or know personally someone who engages in sports, almost professionally and you observe how confident they look. This is a key element when it comes to exercising, it’s a great way to test your limits and set and meet achievable goals.
Exercise gives you something to look forward to
It's very true- once you start exercising there is no way back. It is almost like starting a new hobby and even though it takes time and a lot of effort, you begin to enjoy it which is something you start looking forward to. Exercising is not a one-way street as once you start doing it, you can always set up a new challenge and try to achieve maybe even a personal best!