Part 2 – Strategies to help you thrive during lockdown.
This is part 2 of a three part blog written by Dr Lize Wolfaardt
6. Humour – Finding the humour in heavy, serious and uncertain times, somehow lightens the load and brightens our spirits. Luckily, as a nation, we are very good at this. With all the humour pertaining to Corona virus and lockdown going around, I have wondered whether there is any other nation in the world that is able to use humour in the way that we as South-Africans do…. The lightness in humour counters the heaviness in worry. Find something to laugh about every day. Share those jokes on social media, forward those funny Whattsapps that come your way, watch a comedy, make your own funny video clips involving the whole family, play pranks on one another, tickle one another and find joy in the funny-ness and idiosyncrasies of your children and animals.
Control – During this chaotic, uncertain time, finding something to feel in control of is very beneficial to our psychological health. Declutter your home. Organize the garage. Sort out cupboards. Allocate photos to albums. Establish a new recycling pattern in your household. Do your filing. Clean up your in-box.
8. Acceptance – When faced with potential threat, our whole being is geared toward fight or flight, or if these aren’t possible, we tend to go into freeze, which is depression. We can’t fight lockdown, we can’t flee from it. There are many threats associated with lockdown. The worst is probably lack of income for those people who own their own businesses, for those people who work on a commission basis,and for those not earning salaries during this time. Many of us are experiencing huge anxiety around finances and feel trapped, since we are unable to remedy the situation. We lie awake wondering how we are going to make ends meet in the aftermath of lockdown and within a world economy that has been brought to its knees by Covid-19. Worry won’t change the situation, and worst of all, we become completely ungrounded, and forfeit all the gifts inherent in this lockdown situation, of which the biggest is probably TIME. Accept the situation as is, and know that this too shall pass. Just say “this too shall pass”, and remain in the moment.
9. Ask for help – Should you find yourself feeling stuck in anxiety, worry, overwhelm and depression, reach out for help! Mental health workers are categorised as essential services. Your psychiatrist or psychologist are available to you, even on an online virtual therapy platform. If you have never had assistance before, and you are struggling to cope, reach out for help for the first time. Google the name of a therapist in your area, or contact your GP for a referral. Mental health practitioners are on the alert, waiting to be of assistance to those in crisis during this difficult time.
10. Connecting with others makes us realize that we are a part of a larger group facing the same challenging situation . ‘Others’ refer to family, friends, members of our church, members of our work team, of our interest group, our professional society. Sharing our fears and our opinions and our experiences with one another strengthens our sense that we belong to this bigger group and that we are thus not facing this challenge alone. And facing it together feels much better than facing it alone, right? So, reach out, connect and be kind via all the available online platforms.