I don’t know about you but this whole corona virus has got me on edge… especially now with the kiddies going back to school.
Ever since experiencing the road traffic accident which left me with my injuries, I have been living with and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD). After realising what it actually was I was experiencing, learning about PTSD and learning techniques to deal with it, I have more or less found it diminishing and diminishing. But I am aware that those tell tale ‘panicky’ sensations pop up from time to time, usually when I’m feeling overwhelmed and under too much stress.
Lately I’ve been noticing I’m a little more agitated than normal, my sleep isn’t as consistent as it usually is, I’m finding it harder to concentrate on things, I’m getting the horrible feeling of tightness in my chest and my pain usually ups a level too.
When I think about things on an emotional level, I’ve not that long given birth, had a surgery, lost my mum in law and my wee daddy. I’m very slowly returning back to my work, and all we hear about is Covid-19 every time you switch on the TV!
The point of my list? To make myself aware of the stressors that are going off in my world right now and to direct compassion and kindness to myself as I navigate this crazy time. I urge you to, instead of getting upset with yourself, or judging yourself harshly, have a realistic look at all you’re dealing with too, it’s very few folk that aren’t severely impacted by Covid-19 and its knock-on effects. Take time to sit with your feelings and acknowledge them, and try to be extra kind to yourself. Make time for yourself, treat yourself, eat really well, get plenty of time outside and move your body lots!
If you find yourself in the middle of a panic or you can feel yourself sliding down that slippery slope of a panic attack there are lots of little things we can do to ‘ground’ ourselves, bringing awareness back into the present moment by distracting yourself away from the unwanted negative, challenging emotions/sensations that you are feeling and dreading.
Healthline.com have written a fantastic article detailing ’30 grounding techniques to quiet distressing thoughts’. I would highly recommend anyone have a read of it if you do feel this sense of distress or negative emotion and want to have lots of different ways to help you move through your distress. The physical techniques use your five senses and the mental techniques use mental distractions to help redirect your thoughts away from distressing feelings and back to the present. A few of my favourites include;
- Take a short walk – concentrate on your steps- you can even count them. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.
- Listen to your surroundings – take a few minutes to listen to the noises around you. Do you hear birds? Dogs barking? Machinery or traffic? Let the sounds wash over you and remind you where you are.
- Think in categories – choose one or two broad categories, such as “musical instruments’, “ice-cream flavours” or “mammals” etc. Take a minute or two to mentally list as many things from each category as you can.
- Recite something, think of a poem or some lyrics of a song you love. If you recite them quietly to yourself, visualise each word as you’d see it on a page. If you can say them out loud, focus on the shape of each word on your lips.
I’ve attached a lovely image from blessingmanifesting.com listing lots of ways we can self soothe based around our 5 senses.
Believe it or not, our mind and body want us to be well, but sometimes when we are living in ‘extreme’ conditions, we can tip out of balance, physically and emotionally. Hang in there, lets give ourselves the time and space to feel what we’ve got to feel and come out the other side when the time is right. We may be a little more battered and bruised but if we don’t go through the storm we may not appreciate the rainbow at the end just as much.
Wishing you peace, calm and hope amidst these difficult times