It’s everywhere right? The “C” word.
Never in my lifetime have I seen such a massive change in humanity.
And it’s happened within the space of 4 weeks.
Holy shit is what I’m thinking.
The news is awash with it and us Mamas are taking the load, not only worrying about the unknown, but worrying about our children, ourselves and our relatives.
It’s tough not to get wrapped up in the worries, because the worries are real. The world is facing a crisis, and we’re all in it together.
What we’re facing is something which will impact us massively over the forthcoming months. And for most of us, that’s fucking scary.
I wish I could say I take an “Oh, fuck it” approach to this experience but I really don’t.
I would be lying if I told you I’m relaxed about it, because I’m not. I’m getting anxious too like we all are.
But I’m also not a person to dwell in my anxiety.
My honest belief is this is a wake up call for us. I trust in mother nature above all else. We cannot beat the law of nature and in a sense, I believe she is talking to us.
I liken the social distancing, the working from home and the “14 day isolation period” as mother nature’s way of telling us to calm down. Stop rushing. Stop chasing. Stop being somewhere else other than the present moment.
Just as mother nature can’t be fucked with, we also can’t have what we want, which is someone to come and give us a huge hug and tell us “It’s all going to be OK” (I can give you a virtual hug though!)
There will be significant consequences Mama and you know that.
The global financial markets will struggle and there will be lots more lives lost because of this virus.
Many of us are already being told to practise social distancing to reduce the speed at which the virus transmits. Some people I know personally are already in 14 day self isolation, and they’re finding it hard.
I would love to be the one to tell you mama that everything will be OK, but I can’t be that person because I don’t know, and neither does anyone else.
But what I can do right now is help with some worries you’re feeling. Help you deal with the immediate effects that the worries are having on you.
So here goes:
First and foremost, practise self compassion. Accept that it’s OK to be worried, but that you still live right here, right now. If you are suffering from the virus, up your immune boosting strategy immediately. Take vitamins. Drink copious amounts of water. Eat nourishing foods. Sleep. Rest. Help your body.
If you’re not fighting it, do some of the the same anyway. Eat well, exercise, take baths, read books, have conversations, stay stimulated.
Take immediate action on your anxiety. One of my favourite stress reducing activities is alternate nostril breathing. I read about it years ago in a yoga book but I still love it.
Simply close your eyes, place your index and middle finger together onto the spot between your eyebrows. Place your thumb over the nearest nostril and close it off.
Breath in through the open nostril, then close with your fourth finger, and breath out of the opposite nostril. Repeat several times, up to 2-3 minutes if you can. I sometimes hold my breath at the top for a couple of seconds which is really soothing.
Stop the automatic news updates. It’s adding to your anxiety mama. In fact, get off the internet, social media and emails and enjoy some time offline for an afternoon. Or more.
Talk to people. Just because we’re practising social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t message, phone and enjoy virtual coffee meets! 😉
Do an exercise video. My personal favourite is HIIT videos, which are high intensity exercise for 15-20 mins with short rests in between. The Body Coach does some good ones.
Try meditation or mindfulness. A simple activity I do when feeling anxious is list out every object I can see in front of me. Verbally say them in your head as you scan round the room. There are heaps of free guided meditations on YouTube too which have music, sounds, voices to guide you etc.
Follow the advice. There are guidelines in place with regards to effective hand washing and cleaning surfaces/door handles. Just follow them. In my health care training they taught us how to properly hand wash. It always amazes K my husband how long I take to wash them, but that’s because I do it properly. Here’s a good article to follow: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51711227
Lastly, Don’t feel alone. Remember we are all in this together and we’re all affected by the uncertainty, the sudden escalation and the fact that toilet rolls are flying off the shelves.
If you’re feeling alone, you must reach out. I for one am always here so you can get in touch with me, and you can also post in the Mamas Find Your Voice group.
Mind.com also has a superb resource and helpline: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/
Sending a massive virtual hug to you Mama. We’re in this together, so lets stay together, help each other, and be kind. Loads of love as always.