Lockdown is challenging as we learn to manage close confinement – not going out to our favorite places to connect with special friends. But ‘social distancing’ is a vital strategy to prevent the spread of the virus; so we must adhere to Government’s Regulations.
Let’s ‘Look Up’ for the silver lining – there is always one to find if we take the time to seek it.
As we try to keep our attitude as ‘enabling’ as possible in lockdown, it is important to be aware of our natural emotional responses. Clinical counsellor Bhavna Bharvani describes 7 emotional stages we will typically experience, in different ways, and at different times:
“During self-isolation, expect to go through many different emotional stages like:
This is going to be OK; now I can finally get to all the side-projects I’ve been wanting to work on, or improve a certain skill, or pick up that hobby.
When you begin to feel less positive about self-isolation, but you’re determined to keep going, stick to your routine, and have a schedule to help you manage the situation.
Satisfaction and frustration:
You’ll experience times when you’re more productive, and times that you’re less productive, and alternate between moments of satisfaction and periods of frustration.
When you start struggling and feeling; “this is hard”. Boredom might settle in. Your routine, or lack of routine, might no longer be working for you. You might experience restlessness, making it difficult to concentrate. You’ll miss going out to see friends and loved ones. You might feel demotivated, hopeless; even experience a sense of despair.
You might become frustrated at the situation, the confinement, and then easily become irritated by others in your household.
When you accept the situation for what it is, and carry on doing whatever remains in your control, letting go of what is out of your hands.
Trying to remember that this move to self-isolate is necessary and that you’re serving humanity and the greater good to help prevent more sickness and death.”
Keep yourself up to date with Government announcements; access instant information by using the official government COVID-19 support service: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/
Or you can download information data-free on: https://coronavirus.datafree.co/
And this is really a great app.: on WhatsApp text ‘Hi’ to +27 60 0123456
Follow what is happening in the rest of the world on these credible sites:
Read more on these World Health Organisation links:
Be clear about how you bring groceries into your home:
There is still no certainty about how long the virus can live on different surfaces, so don’t take risks – follow the advice in this video:
Build your immune system by:
- Getting sunshine and fresh air
- Keep windows open; fresh air is a natural disinfectant.
- Sit in the sunny spots near your window; sunlight is germicidal and can help kill viruses
- Get enough sleep and rest
- Sleep for at least 8 hrs.
- Go to bed early
- Take naps at the weekend
It is likely that everyone will experience some form of fear and anxiety. The “Apple” technique offered by Anxiety UK is a daily morning practice to help you cope – of course, you can also use it at any time when feeling worried
Notice and acknowledge the uncertainty as it comes to mind.
Don’t react as you normally do. Don’t react at all. Pause and breathe.
Tell yourself this is just the worry talking, and this apparent need for certainty is not helpful and not necessary. It is only a thought or feeling. Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are not statements or facts.
Let go of the thoughts or feelings. They will pass. You don’t have to respond to them. You might imagine them floating away in a bubble or cloud.
Explore the present moment, because right now, in this moment, all is well. Notice your breathing and the sensations of your breathing. Notice the ground beneath you. Look around and notice what you see, what you hear, what you can touch, what you can smell. Right now. Then shift your focus of attention to something else. Focus on what you are needing to do, on what you were doing before you noticed the worry. Or just go do something else; but do it mindfully – with your full attention.
Keeping Up-To-Date With Work
Set a daily routine for your household that matches, as closely as possible, life before lockdown; establish clear sleeping and waking times, and working hours. This includes everyone in the household; spouses, children and elderly family members.
To help family member understand that this is not a holiday and that you do need to work, set boundaries about when and where you will take your breaks, and agree that they can be with you only during those breaks. Maybe you can even plan fun things to do in the break; this can be a reward for your family not distracting you while you are working.
Communicating With Family And Friends
Although in lockdown everyone will be affected in different ways, those who do have mental and emotional disturbances may respond more severely to the changed circumstances. Be on the lookout for mood or behavioural changes and try to provide even more support than you usually do. Encourage them to participate in family exercises, and also comply with the ‘STAY SAFE’ tips mentioned above.
It may be difficult for the elderly to understand the virus and the lockdown requirements. Try your best not to become irritated with them; that could only aggravate the situation for everyone. Before talking with them take a few deep breaths to calm yourself and to avoid bringing your own anxiety into the conversation. Ask questions to show your interest in their experience. Listen carefully to their concerns; calmly and gently correct their misperceptions.
Fun and Humour
Having a good laugh and fun are some of the greatest stress relievers, and also the best immune booster.
Download “Let’s dance”. Invite your friends to learn a new dance – then have a dance competition on Zoom
Arrange with your friends to watch a Netflix comedy; agree on a fixed starting time. Just before the starting time link everyone on Zoom and watch and laugh together.
Do forward all the best Coronavirus jokes, even the dark humour.
Amazon Audible are streaming children’s stories for free. Start listening here: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
Exercise at home by skipping, running on the spot, and doing push-ups. Get the kids to create exercise games and competitions. They can be the ones in charge – the only rule is that it must be fun for everyone.
You can do free online classes together.
Here, for example, is a great free yoga website: https://www.doyogawithme.com/
And here is free cardio and resistance training for the whole family to do, without requiring any additional equipment:
Just ensure everyone keeps moving!
Eating in a healthy way helps build your immune system. The well-known nutritionist, Ian Craig, affirms: ‘There is no reason to be fearful of the virus if you maintain good health – now is the time to be eating well, sleeping well, exercising moderately at home, breathing well, and thinking positively – these are all vital components of a robust immune system.’
Read his full blog here: https://thenutritionalinstitute.com/resources/blog/314-coronavirus-a-pandemic-or-simply-pandemonium
Ian has also reduced the price of his 12 Steps to Wholesome Nutrition course for a limited time; instead of the usual R1190, it is now R790 during this limited period. Follow the link below to see the promo video, more course info, and to access the discounted price: https://www.udemy.com/course/12-steps-to-wholesome-nutrition/?couponCode=7CA1D3BBE09370AC9396
If you are looking for fun ways to take care of all that stockpiled food, here are some great tips:
Learning and Personal Development
This is going to be a great time to learn a new skill, maybe even putting yourself in line for a promotion, or developing those competencies you need for that dream job. There are so many places to study on-line. Coursera is one of the most popular with an excellent reputation. They offer a huge diversity of courses and many of them are free – you need only pay if you do want a certificate. – https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=free
For free personal development find something suitable for your needs here:
- Hayhouse: https://www.discover.hayhouse.com/freeresources/
- Mindvalley: https://www.mindvalley.com/free-courses
Free webinars for a limited period 2 – 14 April 2020, with Lynne McTaggart and Bryan Hubbard, editors of What Doctors Don’t Tell You:
Understand How Viruses Work
When you have a good understanding of a situation you are then able to make clear decisions and take action. This enables us to reduce the anxiety and panic, and feel more in control.
Our immune system could also be called our health protection system.
Understanding this system then enables insight into the hygiene and social distancing measures we have all been instructed to follow.
Every day we unavoidably take ’bad bugs’ into our bodies, mainly through our mouth and nose. Our immune system’s job is to recognise those bugs and destroy them. But when we are overstressed, tired, poorly nourished, or unwell, the immune system is not able to work at full capacity. That is why some people will get the winter flu whilst others won’t.
Coronavirus is a new ‘bad bug’ that our bodies have not been exposed to before. When the virus enters our bodies the immune system will take time to recognise it as a ’baddie’, but once recognised the system will then work out how best to destroy it. This is what is meant by ‘building immunity to the Covid-19’. When we are healthy our immune systems go about doing this job without us even being aware. That is why it is so important to practice prevention and to know when we might have become infected. Even though we might be feeling well, we could still be passing the virus on to others.
When they catch the virus some people who are not 100% healthy will develop a cough and fever as the virus progresses on its journey down the airways and into the lungs. This is why they experience coughing and shortness of breath. High body temperature is an indicator that the body is working hard to combat the virus.
Most people do have sufficient resilience to recover as their immune systems learn how to defend the body from the virus. Remember, most people who get the virus will get better.
The greater concern is for sick people; people with a weakened immune system and those with other underlying health conditions. Their immune systems may not be able to learn fast enough how to recognise and kill the virus. Doctors will need to help them with respirators to assist them with breathing, and medicine to help support the immune system to work as best it can.
There is a very real fear that there will be more people requiring hospitalisation than there are available beds. That is why it is everyone’s responsibility to help prevent the spread of the virus. Do remember, even if you are feeling well, you may become contagious as explained above; so please adhere strictly to the hygiene and social distancing advice.
Whilst scientists are racing against time to develop a vaccine, unfortunately, as yet there is no medicine to kill the virus. And, of course, a vaccine is administered to people before they catch the virus. It does not kill the virus, but rather it is a way of speeding up the immune system’s capacity to recognise and kill the virus when it enters the body.
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