Disclaimer: I have been reflecting on covid, the lockdowns and the “shadow effects” we are now seeing. I am not a doctor, therapist, social worker, psychologist. The thoughts expressed in this blog piece are my own. If you are having difficulty, if you are experiencing loss or a lack of mental wellbeing, talk to a friend or family member and if necessary seek the help of a health professional. This blog piece is devoted to my experience, my opinion about what has worked for me. Everyone is different, each person has their journey. This has been my journey of self discovery…
I have seen the “shadow effects” the covid with the lockdown has done to coworkers, friends and whether it be extended or immediate family members. What are “shadow effects?” Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness, Weight Gain, Inability to focus, Loss of Appetite, Lack of Motivation, Loss of livelihood. I am talking about covid but anxiety, depression, loneliness can happen to a person at any time. If that person has a life changing event; loss of a loved one, loss of job, moving, changing jobs, etc.
I believe in a Five Prong Approach for WellBeing. I use these five prongs to measure my own wellbeing through this difficult and challenging time.
1. Physical WellBeing is about eating properly, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables along with grains. Exercising by getting up and moving, sometimes it can be keeping track of steps walked, doing some cardio and aerobic activities. Sleep is often overlooked. Not getting enough sleep can lead to irritability, loss of focus. Strategy: Eating fruits, vegetables, exercise daily, and enough sleep.
2. Appearance is how the world sees me. More importantly, it is really about how I see myself. Putting time into my appearance tells everyone I come in contact with, “I value myself!” We’ve all heard…”we only get 1 chance to make a first impression!” With this remote environment we are all finding ourselves in, its easy to stay in the pajamas all day, forget to wash the face or brush the teeth. Everyday I go to work, or if I am at the store, I am “perceived”. I am seen by my coworkers, the people at the store. Perception is powerful because it is another person’s POV. A neat and clean appearance helps me feel better about myself. It gives me confidence in myself because I care enough about myself to put effort into my appearance.
3. Mental WellBeing is about stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, a loss of motivation for me. Are you feeling any of these feelings? Are you worried about how you will pay your bills? Are you now the teacher as well as parent to your child that has returned to remote learning? Did you have covid or someone you know or a loved one? Did someone you know pass away due to covid? Strategy: Most importantly, getting out of my own head. Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. I overthink, get anxious, wonder and self sabotage. Be sure you are connecting with loved ones for yourself and for them. For example: I am not seeing my work team due to remote learning; I setup a google meet call so we can all connect, which they all thought was a great idea!Embed from Getty Images
4. Emotional WellBeing for me is my ability to cope during these challenging times. Doesn’t it seem like everyday there is news of covid, some other riot or violence, political news. I try to have compassion and empathy for others and self care. Strategy: I practice kindness, Random Act of Kindness, SMILE! Never underestimate the power of a smile on your own face and how a smile can change a person’s day that you come in contact with! Doing these few simple things helps me when I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed. I practice these to “balance” myself, to keep myself centered.
5. Spiritual WellBeing for me everything begins and end with prayer. If you don’t like that word…meditation. I have a routine of listening to a morning service video online and a devotional and that starts my day with gratitude and a joyful heart to say “thank you” for this day, for my family, for my health. I have a positive mindset. I look for the silver lining in all things. Even during this challenging time, I have connected more with family and spent more time in my garden which is therapeutic. Walks in nature, seeing birds, chipmunks, squirrels helps to see the beauty of nature.
I use these 5 WellBeing Checks for myself. It allows me to use Self Care and to take care of myself. By taking of myself I am better for myself and for my family. My hope is everyone stays safe and healthy during this challenging time.Embed from Getty Images