AGE OF UNCERTAINTY

7Cs of mental well-being during Covid-19

Our mental health is being tested to its limits.

In Summary
  • Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t control everything. And this is definitely one of those times.
  • One of the aspects of curfew, self-isolation and lockdown is that people are struggling with a lack of routine.

As Covid-19 seems to reach its zenith around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure that we are looking after our mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. A way to focus the mind on what is important is the 7 Cs of coping with Covid-19.

Control

Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t control everything. And this is definitely one of those times. The whole situation around this global pandemic is being dictated by governments, experts and of course the virus itself. So, why try and control the situation or the outcome? It’s time to let go of those things you can’t control and embrace those things you can.

Connection

One of the most important aspects to pay attention to during this time is your relationships. Some people are relishing the closeness of being with family all the time. Others are struggling with constantly being in close quarters. For some, familiarity is breeding contempt, whilst for others this is an opportunity to rediscover each other. You need to nurture these relationships. When there is conflict don’t let it fester, resolve it as soon as possible. For those of you on your own, keep connected via technology where possible.

Care

Self-care is a huge part of this process. Make sure you are eating correctly, exercising enough and taking time for mindfulness and meditation or prayer when you need to. Some people think of self-care as selfish but I believe it to be the opposite.

It’s that rather over-used but very apt analogy of the oxygen mask in an aeroplane. In an event of an emergency you must put your oxygen mask on first, and then help the person next to you. That’s true in real life too. Look after yourself so that you can then care for the people around you.

Now more than ever you must hold yourself with care and compassion, reach out through community and connection, where possible establish continuity and yet let go of control, and finally, nurture your natural creativity.

Creativity

You have been given the gift of time. Use it wisely, to have fun and to nurture yourself through creativity. You want to learnt to paint, do so. You want to learn to play a musical instrument, now’s your chance. You want to write a book, well no one is stopping you, get writing. By nurturing yourself through creativity you build a sense of confidence and belief in yourself.

Compassion

Compassion is the act of being kind, showing consideration and a spirit of generosity to all people (including yourself), animals and the environment. Research shows that compassionate people are happier people. Start by showing compassion to the people around you through random acts of kindness and to nature too perhaps by recycling or using eco-friendly products.

Continuity

One of the aspects of curfew, self-isolation and lockdown is that people are struggling with a lack of routine. Not having the school-run or having to go to work means that some people haven’t been forced to keep to a daily schedule. And yet, we are creatures of habit. We like routine. So, start creating one that works for you. Each day wake-up and go to sleep at the same times. Make sure you get dressed every day. Set time aside to exercise, eat, work and play, and stick to those times if you can.

Community

Never before has the sense of community been more important. The whole world is going through this experience together. Yes, our experiences may vary depending on the country you are in and how your respective governments are dealing with the pandemic. But this is one virus, creating havoc in all our lives. And so, we are collectively dealing with this as a global community.

At a more personal level we find that community is important whether that be checking up on neighbours and friends who may be alone, giving out masks to those who can’t afford it or creating an online community with a similar interest or purpose.

Embodying the above principles allows us to cultivate resilience against an enemy that is both intangible and yet tenacious in its existence. Our mental health is being tested to its limits. Now more than ever you must hold yourself with care and compassion, reach out through community and connection, where possible establish continuity and yet let go of control, and finally, nurture your natural creativity. And remember, from all this uncertainty will be born certainty. Hold on to that belief.

Accredited mindfulness teacher and international mental health campaigner. @justjhoom or www.justjhoom.co.uk