Need to regain control of your life during COVID-19 lockdown?
How to regain structure in a world struck by the Corona virus?
The Corona virus came unexpectedly and with force. It turned our instant and fast lives upside down. When we opened your eyes the next morning it was still there, it became our new reality, a very unwelcome reality. Let’s explore how to regain control of your life during this time?
The corona virus overwhelms our lives. Worst of all, we start to realize that the Corona virus or Covid-19 virus will stay with us for a while, unless a cure or vaccine is found. The corona virus took over all parts of our being, especially since the introduction of the lockdown period in South Africa, and many parts of the world.
It is impacting us socially (we can’t go out and spend time with others), emotionally (we feel down, depressed , anxious, angry, etc.), physically (we can’t go for a walk, jog and gyms don’t count as an essential service (!)), and mentally (our thoughts keep on coming back to the corona virus).
What I hear as educational psychologist from clients, the media and from experiences in my own life every day, the Corona virus evokes emotions like anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, loss of control, depression and many more. People want to know why they feel so knocked off their feet all the time. They want to know what’s wrong with them or whether they are loosing their minds.
No, you haven’t lost your mind
Corona caused tremendous losses in our lifes which implies aspects like routine, space, jobs, income, freedom, social life and control. The moment when we loose something, we experience a loss. During any loss we’ll move back and forth between the following phases:
It is quite natural to experience the phases of loss mentioned above, and people spend different amounts of time in each of these phases. Don’t worry too much if you spend too much time in a phase, however, if you are really stuck in one of these phases, and it is interfering too much with your life, do contact me for a consultation.
Regain control of your life during COVID-19 lockdown: What to do
What can I do to make Covid-19 better?
Questions which arises are “What can I do to make Covid-19 better?” or “How can I regain control in my life?” Research tells us when dealing with a loss and trauma, structure plays an important part in regaining a sense of control in your lives. The most important aspect is to get a routine, similar to the one before Covid-19 existed, for instance:
- Get up at the same time each morning.
- Don’t get up too late (this means that you should also go to bed on a decent time the night before).
- Exercise (in your house if you can’t go outside). Any form of exercise can work, and no excuse is accepted. Walking inside your house, or garden counts; skip, jump on one leg, put on a happy song and dance for a few minutes.
- Take a shower.
- Put on your clothes, make-up, comb your hair – look in the mirror and see a well taken care of picture of yourself.
- Do what you normally do during the week, for example working, keeping your kids busy, etcetera.
- Take a break and have coffee / tea outside, together with your family members – if they are there (sunshine provides vitamin D which adds to your positive feelings).
- Go back to work and remember to take regular breaks. Put on a happy song during your second break to lift up your feelings.
- Go for a walk after work.
- Read / do something that you never have time for (make a list and tick them off every day).
- Spend time with your family, or on your own if you are alone, make a nice fire, play a board game, spend time on your hobby or do something new or something that you like).
- Prepare and enjoy some good, healthy food.
- Drink enough water.
- Clean up your kitchen and house.
- Get enough sleep.
- Have time apart from the television and internet, as it might easily become all that you do most of the time.
- Be brave: this implies spending time on your own and “face” your fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, etcetera.
- CONTROL what you can, which are all indicated above.
Regain control of your life during COVID-19 lockdown: Structure equals routine
If you want to regain control of your life, you need routine. Routine, even if you aren’t a very routine person, brings structure into our lives when it seems to be falling apart. The moment when you realise that there are things that you can control and start doing them, you will discover that routine provides you with a sense of security. Control and security cause our brains to release “feeling good hormones” of which endorphin is one. The challenge is however to stick to a routine.
Isn’t it time to take up the challenge of setting a proper routine and to regain a sense of structure in your life?
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