FOR many people 2021 has not got off the start they were hoping for. We are having to double down in our efforts to fight the Coronavirus and that means more restrictions, more closures, and less interaction with others. Of course, we have done this before, all of us living in Mallorca last March went through the first lockdown with no preparation and no idea of how it was going to affect us.
So, I have at my fingertips, through the magic of social media, many experts who have all survived one total lockdown. I decided to ask them for their tips on coping with stress and anxiety and they overwhelmed me with their amazing insights and positive answers. If you are suffering then please try some of these ideas, and come and find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MajorcaMallorca
Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Put on clean, comfortable clothes. Put on your favorite underwear. Make yourself look nice, when you feel proud of your appearance it lifts your mood.
Shehreen Tq, “ I joined a fitness group via a Personal Trainer who is a friend.
The 8 week programme was accountability of about ten of us wanting to stay on top of nutrition, health, steps and training. The sense of belonging and struggling together really helped with anxiety, lack of motivation and loneliness.”
Ian Bonsall, “I’d echo the above. For me the ability to workout and continue to offer some sort of training for others provided a focus and welcome distraction.”
ZOOM/ SKYPE/ FACETIME/ WHATSAPP/ VIDEO CALLING
Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps.
Michaela Bowyer, “Living in the now and not to worry about things out of my control. Not worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. Not getting involved with other people’s opinions, thoughts and beliefs on social media (although that is sometimes challenging). Remembering how lucky I am. Taking much pleasure from very simple things.”
Rebecca Fountain, “In October, I started a morning ritual of lemon and ginger drink, followed by 15 minute meditation and 10 minutes of yoga. The whole process takes 30mins and is well worth it. In the evening I meditate again and I keep a gratitude/achievement/different journal. The ritual has been a game changer for me and so easy to incorporate.”
EATING HEALTHILY, BUT DON’T FORGET THE TREATS!
Michelle Bromley, “I turned into a soup dragon Or shall I say domestic goddess, as I made every kind of soup under the sun during lockdown the first time and even baked cakes which I haven’t done for years. And we were allowed to exercise in England, so I discovered the fabulous woods I have been in our neighbourhood for 24 years and I never knew just how fabulous it was out there. So lots and lots of walking, being positive, doing the hand washing and sanitising and generally trying to be creative in the kitchen was my go to.”
SOME WINE, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
Rachel Ward, “Don’t drink everyday, perhaps structure yourself to just drink wine on the weekends, alcohol can be a double edged sword so be aware of its ability to suppress emotions as well as relax, and also how it can unleash words that perhaps you should not say to a loved one.”
WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING
Rhiannon Hughes, “I support young adults with anxiety and/or depression the best thing in my experience is to write these things down, whether they’re thoughts or nightmares, write down day, time, who was there when it happened (triggers) and what happened then you can work backwards and maybe find a repetitive pattern and be able to change certain things next time. Also volunteering for anything giving back gives people a sense of gratitude and reward. Breathing exercises also a very good one and learning what makes you anxious and try and exempt that from your day by day it’s amazing what the human mind is capable.”
Demi Neal, “Brain dumping”: write everything down that is worrying or bothering you, filling up your mind on paper (draw a bin if you like and write everything inside it) then screwing it up and throwing the paper away - releasing yourself from the worry and tension.”
Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.
Karen Gomes “You really cannot underestimate the power of getting out and walking. And there are still people who don’t know this. The world seems so much more scary from within four walls. It’s my instant medicine.”
Britt Rohde, “Walking, Everything gets better with a walk. After just 20 mins of walking your spirits lift.”
Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, about your favorite movie, a new game coming out, anything.
Sarah Bland, “Rescuing Bug, our kitten, was the highlight of 2020”.
Maggie Crush, “It’s quite important how you think. As difficult as it is if you try and think in a positive way it can help to ward off getting down. For instance reminding yourself the lockdown is for a good purpose to keep us safe and help us get over the epidemic, that it will hopefully soon be over and we can see friends again and it gives us time to relax, read a few books, take up a new hobby. Look around for the good things in life, a lovely sunny day , flowers in the garden, taking a walk. Try starting the day with a smile the mind can only focus on one mood at a time you can’t be happy and miserable at the same time and when we smile it gives us a good feeling. Try it.”
There are many, many more tips to come. Join us on the Majorca Mallorca Facebook group for support and fun as we keep taking care of each other through these difficult times. Enjoy your Sunday! Vx