How we can all stay sane and connected during covid
It's all about honest connections...
I don't know about you, but I'm feeling quite nuts at the moment. Whether it's mostly coincidence or not, I kind of feel as if my mental health, and indeed our mass mental state as a nation, as a human race, will never quite be the same again.
Why does it now feel normal to take a face mask shopping with you, to minimise the touching of anything, to keep odd distances from those we care about? It shouldn't.
How can we as individuals even begin to cope with the mass loss of life, with the fact that millions of us worldwide have been infected with a brand new virus that has escalated terrifyingly quickly? I don't know about you, but I cannot comprehend those figures.
Does anybody else now feel it is strangely perverted to watch films or television footage that is pre-covid, with people hugging and touching and NOT keeping their distance from each other? It feels odd to see, despite life only becoming turned on its head fairly recently.
Our whole sense of what is normal has shifted, warped, beyond anything any of us could have imagined, except for maybe the handful of medical experts who saw this coming. As a normal civilian, a mother of a young daughter, but also as a person who has a history of mental health issues, I am a natural analyser, and, in trying to stay sane, and help those close to me who are also confused and trying to stay sane, I have seen that we have to stay connected, and we have to stay honest.
It is okay to feel crap, to be completely transparent about how we are feeling, from one day to the next, more than ever before, because of how rapidly this virus is shifting and changing things. It literally has to be managed one day at a time. Some days we will do okay, and that is okay. Other days we will crumple, or have a meltdown, and that is okay too, as long as we are open about what is going on and how we are reacting to it.
Much has been written and spoken about the current mental health crisis, and I think to some degree it affects all of us, because we can ALL make a difference, to our own mental health, and to each other's.
Many people are shy, and don't know what to say to forge a connection to another human being. I think that asking how someone is, how their day has been, is a pretty good place to start. Start from a place of curiosity, of honesty.
This is what connecting looks like for me: I have close family and friends whom I message most days, and I have people I care about who are on Facebook whom I message or connect with. Me and my partner don't live together, but we check in with each other several times a day. He works full time, and I am often resting, busy at home, with my daughter, or out and about. I often feel safe but I can get low, or anxious, or angry, the same as anyone else. We all need support, no matter how strong we think we are.
One of the loveliest ways I enjoy connecting, which is a whole new thing to me really, is by popping a treat or a note through my cousin's door, or my close friend who also lives on my street. We also sometimes lend each other a DVD or book this way too. For someone who is used to being a loner, I have never felt such community and closeness around me, and I know for a fact that the pandemic really brought many of us closer; it strengthened the bond I already had with certain people, and I also made new friends.
If you know few people around you or feel isolated, join Facebook groups that relate to your interests or situation. There have been many covid support groups set up, which is heart-warming to see. During the first frightening lockdown I set up a care packages group, and invested in a ton of stamps!
Personally I get a lot from a local 'swap shop' group, a couple of chronic health support groups, and a mental health group. Real things and real friendships can sprout from these movements, which is incredible to see. Before lockdown hit a second time, the mental health group was looking to arrange coffee meet-ups, so that people who interacted in the group could meet and forge real-life friendships with people who had maybe already been incredibly supportive online.
It just goes to show: when you're feeling down, reaching out to someone else really does make all the difference. Even when we don't think it will, it does. And it can make the world of difference to someone else's day.
Stay safe and stay connected peeps x
About the Creator
A mum, a friend to many and I love to explore dark themes and taboos in my writing. I am an optimist with a dark side...
Hope you enjoy! I appreciate all likes, comments - and please share if you'd like more people to see my work.
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