After twelve months of this new Covid world which has seen all of us challenged in so many areas of our life it’s more important than ever to find new coping skills. 

Even us as a qualified and practicing therapists we are not immune to life-shocks and lockdown fatigue. We’ve never had a time like this in our lives EVER to be so cut off from others.  Like everyone we have at times felt challenged and we’ve learned how to cope with it in a more positive manner and also applied the principles of our experience and training. And let’s be honest here we ALL have occasional ‘off’ days, and that’s normal.  

It’s really important for our mental and emotional wellbeing to have a regular routine, enough sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruit and to engage in what we might label valued and/or meaningful activities. 

Valued activities are individual to everyone and we’re going to explain how easy it is to do this, and how you can apply this to help everyone in your family to help them, at any age. 

We’re going to ask you to think carefully:

  • about what you can still do, right now, even in lockdown, that you enjoy and it gives you pleasure. This might be gardening, reading , a sunset walk, a new streamed movie, jigsaws, yoga, playing a computer came, doing a crossword, or playing the piano. 
  • about what gives you a sense of achievement, it might be trying something new, reading a book, walking five miles, tidying a cupboard, or volunteering.
  • to think of something which gives you a sense of connection to friends and loved ones. We are all missing closeness, and it’s especially hard for those who live alone. This could be a regular  phone or video call, meeting a friend outside for a walk, an online quiz or watching a movie at the same time online and discussing it after.   

Now after you’ve had a good think about these three categories, I’d like you to write three lists putting in as many things that came to mind as described above:

  1. Pleasure and Enjoyment

2. Achievement

3. Connections 

Try and be really creative, we know after twelve months of this that many once treasured activities have lost their appeal so it’s maybe time to think of new ideas and challenges to bring back your smile and a sense of purpose. Can you learn something new? 

Once you’ve done your lists and are happy with them simply choose one thing every day from each list and include these into your daily activities. Try it for a few days and see how you get on, commit to doing this and if you find resistance please write in your journal what you are noticing when you resist, what you are feeling, and what are the triggers. We will return to this in another blog.

Sarah’s list for today is to try out a new recipe she found online, to finish  assembling all the receipts for the hated end of year accounts, and tonight, after work, to connect online with my fellow St John’s Ambulance Volunteers in a Teams Meeting. Sasha’s list combined two of hers together in a new walking route with a friend and trying out a new recipe for dinner.

Please share your lists below, it may inspire others to be more creative. 

More emotional wellness tips coming soon in future blogs and if you are struggling with grief and loss of any type our Grief Tree Programme might be just what you need. We run it three times a year, and the next intake starts at the end of April and it is so healing and empowering, leading to such understanding of triggers, loss and change, new coping skills and a host of tools to apply whenever life throws in a life-shock.