Thoughts by someone self isolated, by Andi Yarde

“These are unprecedented times” – I think if I hear that one more time I will scream!
I think we all heard it the first 95 times it was told to us by every politician and news outlet.

I am speaking to those who ‘get it’ – who understand that there is a nasty virus that we have managed to spread around the world and in certain circumstances can turn to pneumonia and prove fatal.
(Incidentally the flu does this too – not that I am lessening the seriousness of this virus but just saying.).

So a lot of you lovely people are having to stay indoors for the foreseeable future (like me) and are finding many things difficult.  I would just like to talk about some of these things and what you can do to lessen the stress.

(I must point out that I am not an expert in anything but simply speak from my experience.)

First of all – if you understand all the above and understand you have to stay indoors then please switch off the TV when it is news time and concentrate on YOU (and your family if they are with you) because there is really nothing more you need to hear for now.  

You know the important bits as mentioned above and you are doing what you have been asked to do.  You are staying in unless absolutely necessary or to get some exercise. You are not visiting people and if you happen to meet anyone when out for a little walk you are keeping your broom handle distance.

  • You don’t need to hear how bad it is in Italy and Spain.  
  • You don’t need to hear how many cases there are in your area.  
  • You don’t even need to know how many people have died in the UK.

Have you ever noticed that when you watch or listen to bad news it makes you feel really sad and yeuky inside?  How your gut seem to screw up in a knot and you find it hard to breath? And the more you watch or listen the more you feel compelled to and so the sad, fearful, sick, yeuky feelings deepen?

And have you noticed that when you talk to someone who wants to share fearful and upsetting news constantly can make you feel the same kind of yeuky inside?

Watching or listening to the news constantly is normal to begin with when something bad is happening because we are struggling to take it in.  But once it has sunk in, it does our mental health untold harm to keep focusing on it.

I am sure you have heard it said that whatever you focus on will grow.  This is so true.  

So we need to focus on what is good.  I believe that whatever situation you are in right now there will be some good.  The sun has been shining, the birds are singing because despite the “C” word, Spring is springing!  (Goodness I am a poet!)

Now that may sound a bit glib but you need to find something in your life to focus on that makes you feel warm inside instead of cold and sad and scared.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Think about your family. Remember funny times you have had with them.
  • Ring family and friends and have a happy chat. (Try to keep it positive)
  • Arrange a video call with family or friends.  (Ask someone how to do this if you don’t know.)
  • Watch your favourite films on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Catch up.  (Ask someone if you don’t know how to access these).
  • Have a nice bath (if you like baths)
  • Open the window and listen to the birds
  • Try knitting, crochet, painting, drawing, colouring, jigsaws or any other creative pastime. (You can buy the kit online if needed) 
  • Read a novel you can get lost in.
  • Get out in the garden if you have one

You will be surprised how the endorphins will start singing inside you and you will find that for a while you don’t feel scared, lost and yeuky.

Now some folk think it wrong to be happy when many people are suffering but you know what?  You are not going to help any single one of those people by hurting inside yourself.

And it will not make one iota of difference to what is happening around the world or in your neighbourhood, if you turn off the news.

We are being bombarded with the bad stuff right now BUT by cutting right down on the negative input and focussing on the good you can make a huge difference to your own health, both mental and physical – because they are closely linked.

Now I am not suggesting that you don’t ever listen to the news but by severely limiting it you will save yourself untold heartache and fear.

If you are struggling in any particular area then please reach out for help because there is plenty out there.  By phone, online, text, email or yelling through the letterbox if necessary -don’t struggle alone.

And please don’t ever be afraid to ask for help – this current situation SUCKS, there is no doubt of that and everyone is feeling it!

South Petherton Helpline: 01460510022 |  https://www.pethertonsupport.co.uk