What a crazy time it is to be alive. The last two months have been a very steep learning curve for myself and quite a challenge.
I have dealt with mental health issues (anxiety,depression) over the years and I never thought I'd say this but I am very grateful for it. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years learning techniques and building habits to help me cope on a daily basis.
When this first hit, all my plans were thrown out the window and I simply resorted to the feelings of hopelessness and worry. The uncertainty of the future and struggles everyone is experiencing is very concerning but only natural.
I saw a few posts about learning a new skill, a language or doing a course during this time. I honestly think posts like this can be harmful and I consider If I can learn to think clearly, be present and grateful for the life I still have, then I have won.
I decided that I would try my hardest during this time to try build mental resilience and approach each day as a challenge to myself to just try and cope. Below are a couple of things that I feel have helped me cope during this time-
Start with a good morning routine
This is the biggest improvement I have ever made in my life. A few years ago I read miracle morning and out of all the self books I've read in time (Which is far too many) this had one of the most immediate impacts. Its hard to stick to and I don't necessarily follow the SAVERS - routine (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Writing) The reason it works is before most people have got out of bed you feel like you've achieved so much.
Below is a few things I have incorporated into my morning routine:
If you said the word mediation to me 10 years ago, I'd have told you you're probably crazy. Then I had an anxiety attack and someone could have told me anything and I'd have done it to help them stop, apart from injecting detergent.
Anyway my meditation journey began and its the one habit I have have kept over the years. Its weird barbecue its bloody hard yet so simple. I remember starting and having to count down from 10 without your mind wondering and I couldn't honestly make it to 9 without thinking about something.
Since then I have done 10 day silent meditation retreat, used countless apps and I still feel I am only scratching the surface.
2 Negative Visualization
No doubt the above tips made sense. I am now recommending you sit for a few minutes a couples times a week and visualize you losing everything.
Things to visualize-
Losing your job
Having no possession and being in poverty
Family members dying
You losing the ability to see or walk
I know what you are thinking, I am crazy. The above isn't nothing new, Stoics have been recommending this technique for millennia and it works. It enables you to appreciate what you have. Imagine how much mure you'd appreciate your loved ones, your job or the bed you will sleep in. I often follow this up with gratitude.
Every self help, life coach guru is recommending this at the moment. Often when you hear something like this, it's too good to be true. However I can honestly vouch for this one simple technique. I start it as a routine in the morning and now I try and do it in the moment.
I tell myself how grateful I am for nature, for my friends, my morning coffee and the world we live in.
Other things you can incorporate- Exercise, fasting, reading. Also scheduling in some time where you do absolutely nothing. Honestly, trying too much can be detrimental and can have the opposite effect.
Quick Hack- The above techniques can all be found inside one app. I am loving it - its called 'Stoic-mental health training' and its available on the app store.