The latest announcements about the restrictions continuing ARE a big deal. And we need to acknowledge that and sit with the disappointment, frustration or whatever we are feeling – here are some tips to help you cope …
So, the latest Covid news isn’t great. Even though the numbers remain quite high, there was a part of me that thought (hoped!), that we might see a glimmer of optimism; being able to meet up with friends and family; hairdressers opening maybe sometime in March and the prospect of being able to travel this summer. But the bad news was confirmed – the restrictions are going to go on until May, and also, it’s not realistic for us to expect to go abroad this summer. And although the vaccination programme is being rolled out and we do have reason to be hopeful, it is very disappointing that we still have a couple of months ahead of us with these constraints.
David Kessler, who is an expert on grief, says that grief is a change that we didn’t want to happen. And if you think about it, for many of us, most of the changes that we have had to experience over the last year, we definitely didn’t want. So, we are going through a grieving. They say that the biggest loss is the loss of a loved one, and there will be some who have experienced this over the last year. But there are all of the other losses along the way – loss of the life you had, loss of connection, loss of being able to plan something as simple as a summer holiday, loss of certainty.
Grief is a funny thing. You are motoring along fine, and BAM, the loss suddenly hits you. I remember bursting out crying in a supermarket in Sicily because something there reminded me of my mum a couple of years after her death. And sometimes we are all expected to just get on with it, and to move forward as if nothing has happened. But it doesn’t work like that.
You might say, well I shouldn’t feel sad because I still have my job and a roof over my head. Of course, be grateful for what you have, but do take the time to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. Otherwise, what we can end up doing is half feeling our emotions, and bottling up the rest of it. And when we ignore or try to suppress what we are feeling, it takes a lot of effort.
Just because you ignore an emotion, doesn’t meant that it goes away. Chances are that it is going to come out somewhere, and not necessarily in the way you want it to – biting someone’s head off for some minor offence, not being able to sleep or diving into that packet of biscuits. The best way to get through the emotion is to be present to it. What I mean by this is just to pause and notice how you are feeling and allow yourself the time to stop and feel it fully. And it’s not always the most comfortable thing to do. If you are sad, allow yourself to be sad. When you’re angry, allow yourself to be angry. Once you do this, the emotion moves on and you come out the other side. Of course, you can get stuck in grief and if you are in this place, please find someone you can speak to.
When the news came out from Michael Martin about the restrictions continuing until May, even though I knew the news wouldn’t be great, I had a bit of a cry. I also used tapping (a technique where you tap on acupressure points as a way of releasing stress and other negative emotions) to help me process what I was feeling. The latest announcements about the restrictions continuing ARE a big deal. And we need to acknowledge that and sit with the disappointment, frustration or whatever we are feeling. We spend so much of the day being busy, give yourself time to pause and take a breath.
Relax About Relaxing
Sometimes when I ask people about how they relax, it sounds like a military operation! They do their 10,000 steps, yoga, meditation, pilates – and it’s all about achieving something, reaching that goal. But the thing about relaxing is that it is all about being rather than doing. So, rather than thinking about what you want to do, think about how you want to be/feel. And it doesn’t have to be something ‘worthy’, if you know what I mean. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to plonk yourself down in front of the box and binge watch Married At First Sight – Australia. Do whatever feels good to you.
Come join me for the Positively The Gloss online event taking place on Thursday March 11. At this event, I will be sharing some tools and techniques I use to help release stress to get you through these challenging times. Book your tickets through GLOSS SHOP.
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