The Corona Diary
The sun has been shining, the sky has been clearer, the trees are blossoming and the wildlife is flourishing.
We humans are restricted, restrained and on “lockdown” for at least another 3 weeks. Three weeks which, following on from the previous lockdown, could prove challenging for many.
We have lost incomes, there is business uncertainty, jobs are being furloughed or lost and we are not able to see our loved ones, family and friends face to face.
On the other hand, we are working, teaching and living in the same space 24/7, exercise is permitted and walking is encouraged. But keep your distance.
Stranger Danger is replaced with Person Danger. As a Sheffielder born and bred I can and will speak to anyone and everyone. Everyone is a mate or a friend in our largest village. I love a walk in our beautiful parks and the surrounding areas. I enjoy meeting friends for a coffee and catch up and going to the sauna after my gym visit. All these are stripped away as we stay within our locality and many of us are restricted to our homes for work, school and every aspect of our daily lives.
I didn’t expect my spring to look like this. My clients, friends and family didn’t either and some are finding it difficult to maintain healthy mind and body. Mental health and well-being is being challenged.
How can we maintain a sense of well-being and look after our mental health whilst under lockdown? Here are a few tips
First of all is acceptance. Understand that this is at first our normal for now. Once this is accepted we can then move forward with tools and techniques to maintain and build our mental health.
Socialising has taken a new look as we host Zoom parties and hang out in homemade pubs with a different room of the house serving a different variety of drink or cocktail.
Couples are dressing up for date nights to spend at their kitchen table or dining room.
Kids are playing long distance games of chess with grandparents and sending birthday wishes through the screen.
There are many areas of support in the area and of course nationally. Who would have thought that standing on doorsteps on a Thursday evening would become of such national importance? To expand on this, many streets are hosting distance bingo or workouts, helping communities come together.
There are a couple of photographers who are doing doorstop photoshoots as a way of families to formally record their lockdown memories and raise funds for charities which are so hard hit during this time. An example of this is for S8 and surrounding areas is affordable event photography
The photographer comes to the end of your path and takes some family shots. You get the pics and make a donation to the designated charity.
When out on your walks there are the options of Rainbow Trails, Teddy Bear Walks and activities chalked on pathways.
There are many Twitter and Faceboook groups for connection and collaboration.
I live close to the Westfield Plantation and a Rainbow Trail is there for the kids of all ages to find 32 rainbows in the locality. It is my regular haunt and I still have 11 to find. Each rainbow has a supportive or inspirational message and it makes a great activity.
But how do you keep on top of mental health day in day out?
After some research in various groups I discovered that many people were concerned for their mental health and well-being.
Concerns included movement, diet and putting on excess weight, neglecting personal well-being and taking time out for themselves.
As a response I have created a 'Just for Today' journal page.
The mantra 'Just for Today' comes from reiki principles and it is such a support during times such as these.
We may struggle to get through the thought of more weeks of this but if we take one day at a time we can do it.
I have created a download to help self-nurture 'Just for today'. It covers mind, body, and soul to aid with mental well-being, communication, health, and vitality. A gentle reminder for reflection and reminder to help with:
The download is designed to help you get through each day with intent, which can be lost when each day during lockdown is merging into the next.
When I was researching what to put in the download, people said they were losing focus with regard to self-care and awareness. They were neglecting movement and nourishment, and thought was becoming negative. All totally understandable. This tool is here to help you gain awareness and control over thoughts and actions.
How does it work?
In the morning draw a little doodle to state how you are feeling. Then write three signs of gratitude. This can be a sticking point as we have so many restrictions. But take it back if you are finding it difficult to find some joy and make your thanks simple.
Next reflect on what you enjoyed about yesterday. A simple question but this is often overanalysed: people often look at what was wrong rather than finding the joy.
What can I do differently today? To avoid that groundhog feeling, do something different. Take a different route on your walk, eat something you wouldn’t normally, try listening to a different genre of music or maybe take in some online classes.
How do you want to feel for the day? Choose a word and write it in the feeling cloud. Maybe use a coloured pen that resonates with that feeling, thought or emotion for you.
Next is the section relating to health and vitality. I am not a nutritionist or expert in this field but the basics are there to help you keep a check on portions of the essentials such as hydration, fruit, veg, and again, some reflection on what you enjoyed the most.
Body movement and nurture
Movement for many has been greatly reduced due to not travelling to work, moving around the workplace and such. We are advised to go out for exercise every day but for many this is not realistic. Being aware and mindful of movement during the day will help.
How will you honour yourself today?
The changes we have experienced can affect our mental health and well-being. We are spending longer periods of time with those we live with or conversely we are totally isolated from our friends and family. Self-care is paramount. What can you do to raise your personal energy levels and help you feel lighter and brighter? I love to meditate, practise yoga, listen to music and/or do some colouring. We are having weekly family Zoom quizzes and connection with others is through video call. What can you do that serves you personally?
This is a vital part of the journal page. Reflect on the day with a positive mind-set and choose the best thing that has happened during the day. Take a moment to chose an emotion that you wish to embrace for the next day. Remember the activities were just for today and you can do it all again tomorrow.
Download the journal page
No registration necessary, simply download and enjoy.
Elaine Mitchell is a Life and Empowerment Coach and Author based in Sheffield, currently offering coaching via Zoom.
Contact Elaine on 07769 311823
Seven Steps to Self Empowerment book available now
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