As New Zealand navigates covid again, I am reminded of the fear and uncertainty that this brings many people.  I have come up with some ideas that I hope may help ease a little bit of anxiety that may be coming up.  These may help in small moments as the country awaits to hear what is the next step, or may help in larger chunks during a time of lockdown.

  1. What can you take control of – I feel this is a biggy – when we change levels or when we were in Level 4, it can feel like we lose control over various things, where we can go, who we can see etc.  I encourage people to focus on the things we can control, our daily routine, whether we get dressed or not, who we connect with, how much news we watch, our physical space, the housekeeping and whether we decide to do some of these other ideas.
  2. What makes you feel safe – Before the first lockdown, I filled my car up with petrol, ironic when we couldn’t go anywhere, but it made me feel safe.  Routine can help people feel safe, whether you are able to stick to your normal routine or whether you want to create a specific routine that may incorporate some of these ideas, or takes into account homeschooling with the kids for example.
  3. Focus on what we have, focus on the good – Brene Brown often talks about a gratitude blast, so whether it is a gratitude blast in the moment, or a regular gratitude practice – finding three things each day that you are grateful for, can help us focus our mind away from covid and towards the more positive things in our life.  Remember – think small!  If you hear of a good news story of something that has happened in your community or anywhere for that matter, is there someone else that would appreciate reading it that you could pass it on to.  It might be just what they are needing right now…
  4. How can you spread kindness – When we focus on the needs of others, it can help us forget what is going on for us at that time.  Is there someone you know is on their own and you can give them a call, can you help with grocery shopping, can you support a local cafe, what about your regular go-tos, can you write them a review or leave some positive feedback.
  5. Space – Be aware that this is what you may be needing on your household from time to time, just as others will, how can you create that and communicate that.
  6. News and social media – Yes we want to keep informed, but it can only add to fears and anxiety if we are constantly looking at numbers/rates/conspiracy theories and whatever else.  What else can you do in this time?  Get lost in a book, declutter a drawer, do some journaling to release some of those fears, in fact any of these other points suggested.
  7. Fresh air – Moving our body isn’t just for the exercise itself, it can help to shift energy, it can help us to feel grounded, it can connect us back to nature, it can give us a sense of achievement as well.  Not able to then try and get windows open at home to blow some of the cobwebs away…
  8. Exercise –  As we know one of the most effective anti-depressants around, so what works for you?  Yes if it is outside then you get those benefits from point 3 as well, but since the first lockdown there has been so much more online, and different videos loaded on YouTube etc., so what do you feel you need something high energy and releasing, something to get the heart pumping, or something to relax and ground you like pilates or yoga?
  9. What are you eating and drinking – Just being really mindful of what you are reaching for?  It can be so easy to repeat old patterns, or eat and drink the things that bring us comfort or help us to avoid what’s going on.  Bring a pause in, and see if you can explore what is really going on at that point.  Is there something else on this list that maybe you could do or try instead?
  10. Feel the feelings – What you are feeling is real, in these scenarios it is not helpful to compare ourselves to others’ experiences, what you are feeling is real, and is your journey, so acknowledge that and then decide what you need to help yourself through that time.
  11. Connect – Can you jump on the phone, skype, FaceTime, or other way of connecting with people; this can help remind us that we are not on our own, who are those friends that maybe you lose track of time, maybe you always have a laugh, that good friend that you just haven’t had a chance to catch up with for ages…
  12. Is there a project you can get stuck in to – whether that be something with the house, photos to sort, a trilogy to read, a creative piece to start or finish, accounts to do (snore), whatever it might be that not only focuses your mind on something else for a while, can give you other warm fuzzies like a sense of achievement, ticking something off, getting organised etc
  13. Get the cat videos out – what are the things online that make you laugh, do you have a favourite series or comedian that always brings on a chuckle, can be such a source of release and relief
  14. Take one moment at a time – It can feel hard when we don’t have a timeline, or not sure when it is going to end, so chunking it down, taking one day at a time, setting intentions in the morning for how you want that day to roll out, small step by small step. Remember although we may not know when this will end, do keep in mind that this at some point will pass too.
Author: Liz, our Life Coach
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