Lets Get Back Into Life!
We are living in a time of uncertainty, and the sudden forced change in our lifestyles and routines may have caused us to become anxious and less productive, with an ever-growing to-do list. So how can we respond to the situation? headspace Campbelltown has partnered with Camden Libraries to go through some handy tips for a healthy headspace. So let's have a look at the first one: getting into life!
We may have stopped doing the things we used to enjoyed doing, or even put off the important tasks that needed to be done daily – even something quite simple as taking a shower. It can be frustrating not being able to see our friends, being able to go the gym as usual or play sports outside, go to the movies, which are all part of self-care, and this may be contributing to our increasing stress levels. The vicious cycle continues as the more stressed we become, the more we put off things, which causes us to become even more stressed. So, what should we do to break this cycle?
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to any perceived threat, and it gets us into a fight or flight state in order for us to survive. And right now, we are in survival mode as we hear threatening words such as ‘death rates’, ‘quarantine’, ‘infection’ – which are all creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. And one of the biggest issues with uncertainty is our ability to manage it a way that would effectively deal with the problem. When we’re anxious about an upcoming exam, we’d try to fix the problem by studying hard for it, however, it is beyond our ability to fix COVID-19 and we are worrying about something that’s beyond our control. So how should we manage our stress and the level of uncertainty that we’re facing, in order for us to have a healthy headspace?
By getting back into life! We know the uncertainty revolving Covid-19, but we can make certain of living our life to the fullest and to the best of our abilities, even during the difficult times. Let’s focus and work on the things we can control like making our bed and brushing our hair and get back into the things that we stopped doing in order to improve our quality of life, resulting in a healthy headspace. Not only would this distract us of the uncertainty that’s happening outside, but it would also allow us to engage in our lives in a meaningful and effective way.
But where exactly do we start? Firstly, we need to accept that the anxiety we’re experiencing is completely normal, and it’s totally okay to feel what we’re feeling because life really can suck sometimes. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and become aware of your emotions and try to understand why you’re feeling it. Identifying the root cause would help us to understand the areas that we need to work on. And most of the time, our stress is due to feeling that things are out of our control, so let’s take control of the things that we put off which we would normally do. What was your life like pre-COVID-19, and what has changed? Maybe it was going to the gym every day at a certain time, so instead of feeling stressed about not being able to go to the gym, figure out an alternative such as creating an exercise routine at home, or even just going to for a run!
Keeping yourself occupied can also improve your headspace by giving you a sense of purpose and would build confidence and motivation, and energy. You can start by doing more things by:
· Setting realistic and achievable goals to build your confidence and self-worth;
· Finding new activities that you’d love doing if you’re unable to do your old hobbies;
· Creating a schedule to make time for the things you enjoy;
· Being persistent and following through with your scheduled activities even when you don’t feel like doing them – which would also help you find new ways to handle it better;
· Reflecting on how doing these things make you feel – whether it gave you a sense of accomplishment or was enjoyable – and you didn’t feel this, you can always try something different;
· And always being kind to yourself and loving yourself through this journey of growth and learning.
But sometimes, it may be hard to get into life, and remember that it’s totally okay to feel this. You could always reach out to a trusted person and surround yourself with people who can help you with your journey.
You could also try reaching out to a counsellor or make an appointment with one of our Youth Access Clinicians (YACs) who can motivate you and provide advice to improve your lifestyle, and even help you identify and suggest solutions to any deeper struggles you’re experiencing.
Remember, you are not alone, and you can always access help here at headspace Campbelltown when you need it! Stay positive and love yourself.
Check out this interview with our psychologist, Eddy, for some more helpful tips!