This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and on March 25th, 2020, 8 weeks today, we were told by the Prime-Minister that the country had to go into lockdown. We are now in the 2nd phase of COVID 19 lockdown, and for some, that means they can return to work and some kind of normality; for others like myself, it means more time spent away from friends and clients.

I am curious how you have been coping? What have you gained? And what have you lost?

I watch minimal news, you know just enough to keep up to date and informed about current affairs. Now, this is only one way of not focusing on the negatives of daily life. I also use emotional freedom technique or tapping on meridians and meditation 1st thing in the morning. 

“Why have you started this routine,” you may ask?

The brain has a way of fulfilling or bringing into awareness, everything that you place in focus. For example, lucky people tend to focus on being blessed, and so the brain sets the attention on the good things that happen like finding a penny in the street or the kindness of a neighbour. They are lucky because that is consistently what they believe and can find evidence to support their beliefs.

It is easy to lose focus and find your thoughts spiralling out of control when we are faced with a crisis.

Yes, I have been there many times in my life.

In the late eighties, I was a young mother with two children, and the country was in recession, not once but twice. I didn’t know from one day to the next if we were going to be kicked out of our home because the rent was unpaid or if there would be food on the table.

Where was my focus?

Yes, it was on surviving. Let me tell you my behavior at this time wasn’t conducive to being a good mother, wife, or friend. I only saw evidence of life-ending.

This passed though, and I have survived as I will survive this too. And if I don’t, then it is my time to transcend and transform into another chapter.

Do I want to return to that place in my mind or behaviour? It has taken a little bit of effort to remain positive in this crisis.

But let me share What I have gained.

I have gained a few extra pounds. An appreciation of friends as I have felt so humbled by the support through their gifts of food hampers, chats online, and offers of financial help. As a life-long learner, I have enjoyed learning how to build a website and continued with CPD courses. I have enjoyed everyday listening and watching the birds outside, observing the garden changing, and planting new plants. I have spent time catching up with my outstanding reading list and quiet walks just being at one with nature. There are also those catch-ups with distant friends and acquaintances that I just never get round to contacting. I am sleeping better than I have slept for some years due to a quieter mind and not being woken up at 4.30 am. All this because I have the time. Not rushing, but in my own time. 

What have I lost?

Yes, I may not be able to work, and as a self-employed person, I may lose some clients and income. But when “one door closes another opens” Alexander Bell. I have lots of time to consider how I would like to take my business forward. My hopes and explore my fears for the future. 

Feel free to share what you have gained. Practice for 2 minutes daily breathing in for the count of 7 and out for the count of 11. (7-11 breaching technique) This will allow the part of the brain that is wired to protect you and keep you safe to quieten

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