For many of us this time is one of high anxiety as the weeks of lock down roll into months of uncertainty about our world and the way we live. Will there ever be a time when life goes back to normality and what will that look like ? Many things are starting to go back to semi-normality, with social distancing being the norm. However underlying this is a sense of worry about our everyday life with a strong sense of grief that permeates our consciousness, because it is a loss of safety, emotionally, physically, economically and collectively.
David Kessler expert on this subject www.grief.com believes that when society goes through a huge upheaval, anticipatory grief of what the future holds is associated with our primitive mind. A perfect example of this was the recent stock piling of toilet paper and the hoarding food.
Grief is not a linear process but a layering of
Denial eg. this virus won’t affect us,
Anger eg. I don’t want to stay at home (the recent demonstrations in the USA & world wide reflecting this),
Bargaining eg. if I social distance for a short while everything will be back to normal,
Sadness eg. I don’t know when this will end and acceptance; this is happening and isn’t going away soon.
Acceptance is the last stage where insight and understanding is so important to keep each other safe and by washing hands, keeping distance and when possible to work through virtual technology. I learn through a scientist that the virus stays in the air for 3 hours, on copper for 4 hrs, cardboard for 24 hrs, on stainless steel for 2-3 days and on plastic 3 days, so hand sanitiser has become my best friend.
Sleep is one of the most important areas to recharge our batteries and to help us step back from our anxiety about the future, it is difficult when our thoughts don’t turn off to have a restful night. Dr Michael Mosley’s new book www.fast-asleep.com gives us helpful tips and points us in the right direction of sleep hygiene (going to bed the same time every night, keeping the room technology free, dark and cool), plus the importance of sleep for physical and cognitive function.
He also recommends the Mediterranean diet as well as fermented foods such as yoghurt, pickles and sauerkraut.
As I sit here I feel grateful to have a roof over my head, food in the fridge and to take one day at a time as well as appreciate a good nights rest.