At the moment the whole world is facing more change and uncertainty. It feels like we're living in a constant survival mode. Confusing advice and decisions that don't make sense
are making it even harder to adapt to the 'new normal' .
So, what is the best way to cope with this situation?
As someone who doesn't cope well with the change and also struggles with having control over my life taken away from me, I know it's very important to find a way to cope. Not just for my on sake. I also have two children who need me.
The beginning of the lockdown in March affected me more than I could ever imagine. Few years ago I was in a relationship where control over many aspects of my life have been taken away - or somehow I gave them away and by the time I realised it was almost too late to get it back. There was a time I felt that not being was better than living life according to someone else. Feelings of not wanting to be didn't necessarily mean I wanted to harm myself. I just didn't want to be. I later learned that we might feel this way when we have no control over what's happening in our life or we feel helpless.
But why am I talking about my experience from years ago? Because the end of March took me straight back to the helpless place where all control over my life has been taken away from me.
After getting out of the relationship I started building my life pretty much from scratch. I put many 'safety' things in place, like keeping busy with different activities from work to volunteering and creating. All of a sudden I lost it all. Even the ability to meet a friend for a coffee and much needed chat. I almost fell back into the same black hole.
Fortunately this time I knew I had someone I can trust with my emotions. Someone who will support me and stand by me without judgement.
Where am I going with this? Emotional support is the first thing to consider to help you cope with the uncertainty and the current situation. Being able to talk about your feelings openly, without judgment or advice can help you make sense of what's going on in your world. Sharing difficult emotions with someone you can trust and knowing someone is there to 'pick you up' when you most needed is very important. If you don't have a close friend or a family member there are charities that allow you to explore your emotions in confidence and without judgment. From my own experience as a listener at Samaritans I know how first hand how talking to someone who can listen without judgment can help. It's often the simple things that make the difference.
Understanding that this is an extreme situation that won't last forever can help you cope. Even though the next few months are going to be difficult. We are fortunate our homes are safe. We don't have to worry about bombings and other dangers of war our grandparents had to less than 100 years ago. It might help you to make short term plans you can change or adjust as the situation changes. Accepting that there might be last minute change will help.
As 'bad' as this situation might seem there were many people in my life, myself included, who wanted to change the way they were living. From working too much or taken on volunteering, helping others or activities they couldn't keep up with but got into a vicious circle they couldn't get out of...well early lockdown slowed many people down to allow re-evaluation of our lives and they way we want to move forward. See this as a massive opportunity to make the future what you want it to be. Plan so your work/life is balanced the way you want it to be. Yes many businesses have to work even harder to adapt to keep the money coming in, there is also a massive opportunity to change direction.