Updated: Jan 6
A deadly virus, government lock down, drama driven media, health concerns, and financial issues are all taking their toll in driving up stress levels on top of what was already an increasingly tough way of life for many people.
But it is a good time to reiterate the solid underlying philosophy of staying in good mental health: Staying in control.
By this I don't mean keeping a lid on your emotions and staying permanently calm - what I am talking about is staying in control of your life, regardless of anything that is happening around you.
And believe it or not you very much can stay in control of your life, even in these uncertain times. I'll say that again as it is important: Right now you can be fully in control of how you live your life, Corona Virus or not. Dave (pictured left) demonstrates complete calm as if nothing has changed... but joking aside he is in control of his life.
Depression and many other mental health issues (including anxiety and OCD) are actually responses to a lack of control - or to be exact a perceived lack of control. As humans we need to have control or more precisely at least believe we have control over our lives in some way, otherwise we have no hope, and without hope we are pretty much finished. What most people never realise is that this control is very much a perspective.
We are emotional creatures, so we do not base our life on what happens to us, but how we feel about what happens to us. The key here is that these are your feelings. Your views. You have a choice of what they are going to be.
For example you might be freaked out by the constant media comments of 'soaring death rates etc', or you could focus on noticing that most people around you are still there. It is down to you what you choose to notice. You might feel frustrated at the current lock down and all it implies, or you could choose to spend the extra time getting fit, catching up with stuff, or even learning something new. Why not?
I myself have been meaning to run an online class for ages and now I have been given the push to make it happen. And I took this photo whilst walking on the beach on Friday afternoon, something I would rarely have had time for.
A good place to start is to take a page and fold it in half. Write down anything that is bothering you and then write down an alternative way at looking at it. If you spend a little more time repeatedly looking and thinking about the positive alternative you have just come up with, you will start to see that there are options in life in any situation - not always regarding what you can do but ALWAYS regrading what you can feel. And with options comes control...
"To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him." Buddha