Lockdown & Mental Health. Part 2

Good Morning fellow lockdowners. (I’ll admit that seemed cooler in my head – let me try again)

Hey all you cool cats and kittens. (Oh yes, nailed it)

Thanks for popping by to read the second half of my blog, hopefully the first half gave you a laugh if nothing else. Today I want to tackle two more big issues that I think are popping up here in lockdown. So grab that brew and settle in.

Sleep:

It has taken me three weeks to finally get to a point where I am sleeping at night. For the first two weeks I was waking up constantly and having bad dreams. I was exhausted the minute I woke up and then by the time I was back in bed I was wide awake and wondering what else I could do with my day.

I’m afraid I don’t have the miracle cure as to why I am now sleeping a bit more, I assume it’s because my body has finally clocked on to whats happening. So now instead of dreaming that someone is chasing me, I’m dreaming about seeing my nephews and hanging out with pals, which is pretty nice really.

Past me wrote a blog about sleep, which may help if you are struggling and you can find it here. Sleep can be such a huge help in dealing with this super bizarre scenario, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall asleep on the couch or oversleep in the morning. We are all just getting through this in the best way we can.

Which leads me nicely onto the final section…

Fear and guilt:

*sigh* Where do you even begin on the levels of fear right now?

You know the advice, avoid watching the news all the time, distract yourself, rationalise and stay in touch with loved ones. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t creep up on you and it’s time for me to tell you, that that’s okay. It’s okay to be a bit scared, it’s okay to worry about what will happen or to think about your loved ones. This is a totally new and strange scenario that no one knows how to deal with (not even your therapist).

So don’t feel bad for having those feelings. One of the best things I ever learnt was ‘to feel what you need to feel and let it go’, all too often we try to hold it in or mask it and then it gets worse. Next time you feel scared, just let yourself feel it and then it will pass even quicker. Have a chat with a friend or a loved one or pop on a Netflix series till it passes. Because it will.

Now guilt is a sneaky one. It waits until you are enjoying that second nap of the day or until you pop the kids in front of the TV and then sidles over like the guy at the bar determined to buy you a drink. No one know’s how to handle lockdown because we haven’t done it before, so there’s isn’t a wrong or a right way.

I’m spending mine baking, cooking and watching as much TV as possible before the work commute returns and takes over my life. I do feel guilty, especially when I think about people who will be finding this hard, but I know that that isn’t rational. Our lives weren’t built for this, so it’s bound to be difficult and strange.

You don’t have to be productive, you don’t have to learn a new skill and you don’t have to teach your kids their GCSE’s whilst answering Zoom calls. We all have to do the best we can to feel as happy as possible. So take that nap, watch that TV or eat that cake as soon as it’s out the oven.

The real world is waiting and then we’ll be back to normal and we won’t be worrying about whether we achieved enough in this time because we’ll be back to doing what we do.

Look after yourself and those around you, but mainly you. You don’t have to fix everything.
Thanks again for popping by, I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine where you can. As always,

Stay safe and stay home x

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