Nietzsche said” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger “so this is my starting point.

Watching the spread of this global pandemic I wonder how to use my knowledge of mental health to support others.

Talking and listening is key to my counselling role. But also, it is time for reflection and a combination of ideas and forward thinking to look at how to adapt to the world past Covid 19.

Talking to my VA yesterday we tried to make sense of this unprecedented situation, smatterings of humour and silliness were a key element to our conversation coupled with exploration of feelings and personal disclosures that enabled us to learn more about how we both tick. The outcome was this blog, and an agreement to have a face to face catch up once this situation burns itself out, coupled no doubt with the odd G&T!

So now to the serious bit. How to help?

Think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – We all have basic needs which are essential.

And Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ – any sentient being is probably trying to make sense of the “why” of this outbreak.

No one has all the answers.

So how do we make sense of it all?
As I said a couple days ago – I thought I had the answers, then they changed the questions.

Apart from speculation and reflection what else can we do to keep us safe, not just physically but emotionally? The key is to develop resilience in the face of adversity. Throughout history this has been so valid. So instead of “why” let’s look at “how”. We all have the capacity to develop resilience it is just about using the right tools at the right time. Understanding that anxiety and depression are a symptom of our lack of coping strategies in times of adversity and the stress these invoke.

We probably all have an inkling of the Fight, flight, freeze, fear model that can be paralysing but also quite motivating if used to our advantage. Google it if it is alien to you at present. This is all theoretical but understanding of theories can often give us the control we need over our fears and actions so how to use these?

There are resources out there and gradually will be sharing those in the coming weeks and months.

Succinctly these include:

  • Mindfulness for stress reduction and other meditation techniques
  • Relaxation and Exercise – yoga, Pilates, Thai Chi and general aids to physical and emotional fitness
  • Drawing, writing, reading, music, poetry, board games and crafts
  • Setting routines, pacing ourselves, respecting personal space when we are confined in close proximity to family and partners
  • Healthy eating and menu planning
  • Sleep

Self discipline will help you through, self compassion and consideration for others.

We might be practicing social distancing, but we can still talk on the phone and via all the social media and technology. Be kind to each other and we will get through this. Then onto recovery in a new world that will undoubtedly be very different.

Managing change is the key. I swear by “Who moved my cheese” – available on YouTube and as a book. Humorous, but very insightful. We all cope in different ways. Hope some of my thoughts will help you to Adapt and Survive.

Remember at this time it is even more Important to Think Differently