This week is Mental Health Awareness week, and, in these times, it is even more imperative to look at our own well being.
I have to continually check in with myself as due to a past trauma of child sexual abuse I have a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder CPTSD. In these times now due to Covid 19, for someone with already pre-existing anxieties, those feelings are heightened. Our working lives, our lives for most of us have taken a different turn. The way we do things, the extra precautions we have to put in place. Our communications with, family, friends, colleagues, and how we present ourselves have all changed. What do we do, let our anxieties fester, and become even more anxious, no we can validate how we are feeling as being ok, and then look at ways you can lessen your anxiety and look at doing things differently that is good for your own well being.
I think acceptance of the here and now is important and then you can breathe and find ways of making those changes. For me keeping grounded and having structure is key. We cannot change what has happened, but we can work with it and ensure our lives go forward in a rewarding meaningful nurturing safe way. Self-care for each of us is important. Take time out in your day for you. Being mindful is a very useful tool. Take advantage now of being able to go out more following social distancing. Communication is key too. Technology is such that we can keep in touch with colleagues and family and friends, through different mediums. Don’t get overwhelmed with watching too much TV listening to the news, with listening to all the different opinions and politics. Talking to someone if your anxieties are bringing you down can help, whether that be to a family member, a professional, a friend. Keep in touch with people who care for you and know who you can contact for support if your mental health declines. By talking, it can take the power away from those dark feelings and then by having that extra support you are taking care of your own well being.
For me I have noticed that my go to coping strategy has always been keeping busy, and interaction with others. With Covid 19 that has all changed. It has left me with space in my head, pockets of anxiety have reared its head, my confidence derailed, my mojo taken a fall, my motivation depleted. Past unprocessed trauma come to the fore, because it’s got lots of room to ruminate and bubble and give me that flight fight freeze. However, the old Pauline would resort to unhealthy ways to combat all that. The Pauline of today, yes, is struggling but taking steps to use tools and find new ones that will help me deal with the above. My recovery process is ongoing and with that I will learn, grow, build more strength and empower myself. With all I gather I can then continue to help others. I can come in here and Take Cover.