Day 8 Lockdown Diary – musings on looking after your psychological wellbeing

1st April 2020

So here we are in day 8 of lockdown as I write this and how life has changed over the last few weeks. It just goes to show how our lives can turn on a sixpence and things that were once normal are normal no more!

The supermarket shop is a great example of this for me right now! I’m one of those weirdos who quite likes doing the supermarket shop. I’ve never done online shopping. I just like to take my time picking and choosing things for myself. It’s not something that I like to do with anyone else and probably like a lot of people I have an order of doing things…not that I’m a control freak or anything…honest!!!

For the first time since the lockdown I thought I’d venture to my usual, large supermarket and do my usual weekly shop. What was once something that didn’t take any effort or thought suddenly felt like a military manoeuvre.

Have I got my disposable gloves?

I don’t have a facemask like many other people do, should I have one?

What do I need to do to minimise the things that I touch?

Do I need to wipe everything down afterwards?

Did I touch my face?

How far is this 2 meters anyway? They’re too close?? They’re going the wrong way?? L

And on it went….

My own “we’re all doomed” gremlin was working frantically up there in the back of my mind and it really did feel like the longest half an hour! Since I got home, I’ve been trying not to be too hard on myself. This IS a scary time. There are some scary things out there and lots that I can’t do anything about…BUT…and there is a but..

It doesn’t make me FEEL any better to spend time worrying, catastrophising or over thinking what’s happening right now. As a therapist I know that I can control my thoughts – blimey it’s the basis of a lot of the work that I do as a therapist…and yet it’s something that’s still a struggle for me with my own S***T as they say.

With all the measures that are in place to support and protect our physical health, we shouldn’t forget that we all need to support and protect our psychological wellbeing.

So, here’s what I’m doing to take best care of my psychological and mental wellbeing at the moment;

  • Practising gratitude. This is something that I’ve done for a while now, but for now it’s feeling even more important to clock and notice the good things that are around me. I often suggest a “gratitude journal” to my clients, so I’m listening to my advice on that one.
  • Making sure that I keep in contact with friends – virtual coffee & cake chats aren’t as good as a face to face, but they’re definitely better than nothing at all!
  • Keeping my routine. I love my regular yoga classes, so I’m doing online versions now in my usual three times a week slots. I miss the natter with my fellow yogis – but again it’s better than nothing!
  • Reframing “lockdown.” One thing that’s featured every night in my gratitude journal is a huuuuge sense of gratitude for being safely at home, as opposed to feeling “stuck at home.”

I sincerely hope that you’re finding your own ways of handling the psychological impact of all the craziness that’s going on right now. 

If any of this has impacted you, or you’d like some help on any of the things that I’ve mentioned please get in touch.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane!!!!