5 Simple strategies to stay sane

One thing I have realised over the past few months with the never ending lockdowns is that there has never been a time where ones own issues and problems (whether it’s cabin fever, familial strive, depression, abuse and so forth) have ever been in your face like the past couple of months. It really is like a goblin sitting in front of you, growling at you for attention every time you think you can get away with ignoring it.

And you know what? We cannot run away! You cannot go out and party every night to avoid the feeling of being alone; or sit in a pub drinking away your nagging partner and screaming child. Because of the time we spend binging on streaming services most of us are getting to a point where you just can’t watch another episode. For the first time in many of our lives we are forced to deal with what is happening inside of us.

Our coping strategies of avoidance is not paying off anymore… which, let’s be honest here is leaving a lot of us adults very frazzled, uncertain, emotional, suddenly needy, angry, fearful, insecure… I can go on, but these are just some of the emotions I have been dealing with over the last few months, and when I read posts and messages from friends, colleagues or acquaintances I sense the same level of frustration.

So today I am sharing a little bit of what I do just to stay sane. Some days it works, some days it does not and some days (Especially when another lockdown extension and more restrictions have been announced) I spend the day just crying over everything.

  1. It is okay. Three simple words I remind myself of. It is okay. I am okay… for some profound reason I find a tremendous comfort in this. It’s okay to cry over opportunities that I never had this last year, over plans that was cancelled. It is okay to feel the way I do, whether I feel angry at the world, frustrated, sad, even feeling sorry for myself etc. It is ok.
  2. It is what it is. This comes a close second for me to the above and helps me differentiate between what is in my control and what is outside of my control. Yes, of course I get emotional and upset with situations outside of my control… but reminding myself that I cannot change it helps me to get over it quicker… 🙂 okay… until the next announcement comes. But, that’s okay too.
  3. Walking. I am so immensely grateful for the move I made in November last year that enables me to reach the forest within 5 minutes… I cannot describe the amount of peace it brings, and the order my head has after a walk, like the filing has been done and the attic has been cleaned. Find your feel good space, go for a walk. I know in some countries going for a walk is not a sufficient reason, find something that is – whether you park around the block at the supermarket and walk the 500 meters. Find something that reminds you of your body, whether it’s a walk, run, home workout, wrestling with the kids. A friend of mine gardens… whatever makes you feel that you are actually alive.
  4. Routine. Boy! Do I rely on routine to get me through the day. I wake up at the same time, shower, brush hair etc. Etc. I try to make effort, because I found if I don’t it is very quick and I have not washed my hair or left my flat for a week… it is a scarily easy slippery slope down…
  5. Be Kind. Yes, everyone is so involved in their own dramas… that nasty goblin is sitting on everyone these days and yes it is has made us a lot more selfish than usual… we are already dealing with enough of our own little issues and dramas that we don’t have the Energy or even sympathy left to hear what the other person is going through. Just as there will always be someone better than ourselves, there will also always be someone who is worse off than us. Be kind to others as we don’t know the depth of their despair, and very Importantly – be kind to yourself!

These are extraordinary times we live in, perhaps, just perhaps you found something you can use for today… or tomorrow just to keep on moving, despite everything. Perhaps you find a way to stick it out till the sun rises again to remind us of God’s grace in these times.