This week you are hearing from Nell.
This last two weeks I have been fairly stable, which for me is a really nice change. For the third time this year we are all living in a national lockdown. For me, unlike the first lockdown where I was personally thrown into an unknown work situation, under a lot of stress generally (as most of us were) and really emotional, this time I am feeling much calmer. Although there are still a lot of unknowns and we don’t have any control over the situation, I have noticed that from the past experiences, mentally I have developed a degree of resilience that has allowed me to cope with changes a lot more rationally.
The two main things that have helped me was a podcast called Ologies (the episode on Awesomology) and the book ‘The Power of Ritual’ by Casper ter Kuile. In the podcast it discussed a phenomenon that has been titled ‘The End of History Illusion’ which was a study analysing over 19,000 people’s views on their past growth and the potential future growth. Across all ages, everyone recognised how much occurred in their life that changed and transformed, but none of them could apply those lessons to their future view of themselves. They all believed that where they were/who they were was now permanent. When in a state of stress and depression it is often so hard to see the wood for the trees. The mind tricks you into thinking this is the new permanent reality. Recognising that this is just not the case and I am one of thousands whose mind has tricked them into thinking it is, made me feel less alone. My history proves that everything changes. Its helped me reframe my feelings regarding this lockdown as ‘for now’ not ‘for ever/for how long?’.
Whilst in lockdown, there isn’t a lot we can do. Each day starts to feel a bit ‘same same’ after a while and inspiration for me was at an all-time low. I decided to read ‘The Power of Ritual’ which discusses making little every day practices sacred/ done with intention. Doing an activity however small with intention creates such a different experience and I personally get a lot more joy out of the activity. We talk a lot about the benefits of nature and going out into nature with intention. I think this has been key to improving my own mental wellbeing. Doing something as little as lighting candles before having a bath or taking a camera on a walk creates focus on that particular activity. I’ve started ‘brushing’ off the day when I get home as if I am brushing off dirt on my shoulder and I can tell you I now suddenly instantly relax after doing it as I’m now on ‘home time’.
As always, please feel free to reach out if you want anymore info about the things I mentioned in this jounral.