Surviving a changing world – Protect your mental health in times of fear, crisis and uncertainty
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people’s lives in ways they did not think possible.
More than one-quarter of the world’s 7.8 billion people were largely confined to their homes, as governments stepped up curbs on movement and social contact in a bid to contain the virus.
In many parts of the world borders were closed, airports, hotels and businesses shut and school cancelled. These unprecedented measures are tearing at the social fabric of some societies and disrupting many economies, resulting in mass job losses and raising the specter of widespread hunger.
Much remains uncertain, but analysts say the pandemic and the measures we are taking and have taken to save ourselves could permanently change the ways in which we live, work and play in the future. Envisioning that post-pandemic world is key in ensuring we change for the better, not the worse.
What does the future look like?
A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes – maybe for months – is already reorienting our relationship to the outside world, even to each other. Some countries have lifted lockdown, others not, South Africa being in Level 2 lockdown at the moment.
Who knows what will happen now that there has been an upsurge in cases in Italy again – will they go into total lockdown again – time will tell?
Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What will become of restaurants? In our part of the world over 90% of the restaurants have closed down permanently.
But crisis moments also present opportunity: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, a revived appreciation for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society – healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles and more – will change.
This loss of innocence or complacency is a new way of being in the world that we can expect to change. We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky.
How quickly that awareness recedes will be different for various people, yet it can never vanish completely for anyone who lived through this year. It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces – and we might all find we cannot stop washing our hands.
The regulatory bureaucracy might well have dragged its feet on this for many more years if not for this crisis. The resistance – led by teachers’ unions and the politicians beholden to them – to allowing partial homeschooling or online learning for K-12 kids has been swept away by necessity. It will be near-impossible to put that genie back in the bottle, with many families finding that they prefer full or partial homeschooling or online homework. For many college students, returning to an expensive dorm room on a depopulated campus will not be appealing, forcing massive changes in a sector that has been ripe for innovation for a long time.
And while not every job can be done remotely, many people are learning that the difference between having to put on a tie and commute for an hour or working efficiently at home was always just the ability to download one or two apps plus permission from their boss. Once companies sort out their remote work dance steps, it will be harder and more expensive to deny employees those options. In other words, it turns out, an awful lot of meetings (and doctors’ appointments and classes) really could have been an email. And now they will be.
Over the last several months we have seen a massive change in our priorities and the economy has echoed this to a great degree. Sales of food and health products have gone through the roof, while sales of clothes, makeup, cars, etc., (you know, the stuff we do not really need but think we need to attain some kind of happiness) has plummeted.
It seems that most of us are wondering what the future will hold and how this pandemic will change the way we do things, but I feel there is no way to escape the change in perspective that it will bring.
This is our silver lining. It will hopefully allow us to look back on this time and feel there were some benefits.
The pandemic has robbed us of milestones, livelihoods, jobs, events and so much more. We are all searching for ways to fill the holes, and this is made much harder in this tense atmosphere. During this time, we can recreate meaning to build and maintain our connections to ourselves and to others, especially in a world that reminds us that life is fragile.
With this, we were given the power of stillness and the opportunity to unapologetically slow down. There is no other situation other than an outbreak of a virus where our world would come to such a pause. This will most likely be an opportunity that we never get again (and ironically, we are all hoping we will not ever get again).
As such, now more than ever – for those who are still under lockdown – this is the time to go within and be still with yourself. Heal, remove emotional blockages, meditate and practice mindfulness or some form of outlet that speaks to you. Take this opportunity to do the inner work that you previously had no time for. If ever there was time for personal transformation, it is now.
And as the lockdowns begin to lift, perhaps we will see the value in living a quieter and more peaceful life.
Let us learn from this situation and do what we can to preserve nature, to bring more stillness into our lives and to never take people or our health and safety for granted again. As always, individual change and transformation will always triumph.
How current events can harm mental health
Inability to tolerate uncertainty
The effect of negative feelings on our thoughts
The Student Daily Stress Questionnaire
These issues can go on to impact our life in major ways
Mental health impacts physical health
Three stages of response to stressors
Immune system dysfunction
Signs of mental and emotional distress
Managing emotional reactions
Managing physical reactions
Managing cognitive reactions
Managing behavioral reactions
Dealing with depression during COVID-19
How COVID-19 affects depression
Isolation and loneliness
Unhealthy ways of coping
Change your focus
Simple sources of joy
Limit consumption of news
Maintain a routine
Find new ways to engage with others
How to really connect with others
Move beyond small talk
Healthy daily habits
Eat a mood-boosting diet
Use reminders to keep on track
Children and depression
Be aware of the signs of depression
Symptoms of depression in children
Talking about feelings
Steps to engage your depressed child
Managing your anxiety and fears
Be careful of what you share
Focus on the things you can control
Plan for what you can
How to stop “what-ifs” from spiraling
Simple yet effective technique
Emotions are contagious
Take care of your body and Spirit
Follow guidelines to prevent spreading the virus
Visualize to reduce anxiety and worry
Guided visualization to reduce anxiety and worry
Ways to counteract fear checklist
Ways to counteract fear with positive action
Identify the fear
Ask for help
Engage role models
Talk it out
Envision the worst-case scenario
Dealing with uncertainty
The role of uncertainty in life
Learning to cope with uncertainty
Take action over the things you can control
Actively deal with your emotions
Challenge your need for certainty
Repeatedly check things
How to challenge these behaviors?
Advantages and disadvantages of certainty
What is absolutely certain about in life?
Will bad things happen just because you are uncertain?
Learn to accept uncertainty
Identify your uncertainty triggers
Recognize when you feel the need for certainty
Focus on the present
Ways to positively address financial worries and concerns
Understanding financial stress
Effects of financial stress on your health
The vicious cycle of poor financial health and poor mental health
Talk to someone
Getting professional advice
Opening up to your family
Make time for (inexpensive) family fun
Take inventory of your finances, or lack of them
Include every source of income
Keep track of ALL of your spending
List your debts
Identify spending patterns and triggers
Look to make small changes
Eliminate impulse spending
Go easy on yourself
When your financial problems go beyond money
Three step plan to tackle debt
Do not get derailed by setbacks
Create a monthly budget
Manage your overall stress
Practice a relaxation technique
Be grateful for the good things in life
20 actions to quickly change your perspective and uplift your mood
Dealing with pandemic fatigue
What is pandemic fatigue?
Signs of pandemic fatigue
The exhaustion of choice
The stress of unwinding
It is not forever
Job loss and unemployment stress
The stress of losing a job
Allow yourself to grieve
Facing your feelings
Give yourself time to adjust
Write about your feelings
Avoid beating yourself up
Think of your job loss as a temporary setback
Look for any silver lining
Reach out to stay strong
Develop new relationships after your job loss
Network for new employment
Involve your family for support
Helping children cope with a parent’s job loss
Keep an open dialogue with your children
Make sure your children know it is not anybody’s fault
Children need to feel as if they are helping
Find other ways to define yourself
Get moving to relieve the stress
Eat well to keep your focus
Take care of yourself
Stay positive to keep up your energy
Create a job search plan
Focus on what you can control
Surrendering and the art of allowing
Beauty, joy, wonder and miracles
Focus on something greater than you
Spend more time living your passion
Be kind to yourself
Practice gratitude every day
Staying grounded in uncertain times
Fearful thinking is responsible for unclear thinking
Are your choices currently based on love or fear?
Self-care is about honoring ourselves
Giving yourself permission
Make some tea
Take a bath
Create a personal altar
Find some nature
Give something away
Make a list
Stimulate your mind
Reroute your vocabulary
Compose your thoughts
How to make your own self-care box
Using your self-care box
Our tendency to drive ourselves further
The need to cultivate downtime
Daydreaming helps us problem solve
Go ahead and take that nap
The restorative power of nature
Meditation helps you pay attention
Life is a string of moments
A good night’s sleep
Taking breaks helps you achieve more
How often should you take a break?
How long should you break for?
Move around during your breaks
Breathe during your breaks
Vacations: Are they as good as we think?
Time off makes you more productive overall
Breathing tension away
Relaxing your muscles
Coloring mandalas to relieve stress
Refocusing our attention
What does adult coloring do to relax people?
Is there research to support it as a form of relaxation?
Free mandala coloring pages
Process emotions workbook
Protect mental health workbook
Beautiful calm energy (Value $28.00 / R461)
Beautiful calm energy, self-esteem, confidence, self-worth, heal relationships, communication/throat chakra, third eye, heart chakra, more
It is an excellent energy for meditation that will heighten the profoundness of our inner journey and support spiritual growth. It takes us easily to the higher realms and helps us to make heart felt spiritual connections that have an amazing beauty and depth.
It has a sweet calming energy that is effective to help stress and tension. Its vibration helps us to deal with stress, depression and anxiety. And it is wonderful energy system to create a peaceful and harmonious space for healing. Beautiful Calm Energy moves throughout our entire body, healing areas of the aura that need help and activating all of the chakras.
It first makes a connection at the heart chakra and this is a beautiful and profoundly loving energy that brings emotional healing, thus that helps us to release tension and stress, and may aid hypertension.
It calms the brain and releases the tension there which allows us to utilize the power of the brain and mind and helps with enhancing creativity when the energy moves up to the Third Eye Chakra.
It is also aid communication and may stimulate our throat chakra. Its calm energy allows our self to flow with the energy and follow what comes forth as it may create experiences for inner growth. Beautiful Calm Energy vibration aids all of the chakras below the heart by clearing stagnant energy as it activates them and its action within the brain will help the solar plexus chakra to operate better.
When we work at the Sacral Chakra, its energy aids the healing of relationship problems where there is stagnant energy in that area that is difficult to shift. Its lovely healing energy aids self-esteem and may help us if we have self-confidence or self-worth issues. It helps to heal relationships of all kinds, including those with the people we work with, friendships, personal love relationships and most of all may aid us to feeling more loving towards our self.
Body Toxic Cleansing Flush out toxins retained by body, chakras, meridians, nadis, energetic systems (Value $25.00 / R411)
We live in a world where we constantly are exposed to and absorb into our bodies and blood systems substances that are toxic to our well-being. While most things are eliminated through the elimination and endocrine gland systems, some things are retained by the body indefinitely.
Body Toxic Cleansing channeled to help:
Gently flush out toxins and heavy metals from the physical body without going through the endocrine gland system ; Healing profiles for all the physical body organs and systems especially ones to strengthen and upgrade the central nervous, circulatory, elimination and endocrine gland systems and all organs and glands ; Purification of the blood ; Clearing and healing the brain chemistry and cleansing the minds and brains ; Healing profiles for the chakras, meridians, strange flows, nadis and energetic systems ; Healing profiles to heal any blocks people may have to the optimal circulation of prana /chi/life force energy throughout their energetic bodies, organs and systems; Healing profiles to help restore the most perfect possible level of alkalinity and oxygenation; Healing profiles to clear out and heal negative, dark, heavy, slow-moving, stuck, congested, damaged, blocked energies from the physical and energetic bodies, quantum fields/particles and energetic spaces; Healing wash for areas where toxins and heavy metals are released and for the entire quantum fields, parts and particles; energetic bodies, organs and systems; genetics and DNA blood
Disappointment Flush – Flush away the emotional impact of disappointment (Value $20.00 / R329)
Disappointment Flush was founded by Mariah Windsong Couture.
The following is from Mariah’s manual:
“Disappointment Flush energetically flushes away the emotional impact of disappointment and helps you be ready to think of your next step.”
Dynamic Happiness Flush (Value $27.00 / R444)
Dynamic Happiness Flush stimulates positive feelings such as happiness and appreciation for all that we have in our lives. This is rarely owned by many people, which ultimately push them to act and have greedy mindset and justifies any means to achieve their desires. While appreciation for all that they have been neglected.
Being positive is very necessary because it has a dynamic energy and will increase the energetic relationship between the brain and heart. Dynamic Happiness Flush has a strong spiritual energy, which can help our awareness, provide assistance in accessing the memory of the soul, helping us in our Spiritual learning.
Dynamic Happiness Flush increased positivity to help us to understand our self and the world around us. Assist us in rebuilding spirituality and encourages the mind to hear the heart’s desire and understanding them to achieve what is needed. With the Dynamic Happiness Flush, improved health, happiness and prosperity can be enjoyed.
Emotional Balance Assistance Device – Enhance mental/spiritual power, harmony to social life, connection to higher realm, higher meditation state (Value $27.00 / R444)
Emotional Balance Assistance Device is a mental toxic remover and as a restoring tool for your mental and emotional to a purest condition to prevent unnecessary action and thought. It has a unique vibrational energy to push up inner spirituality and help to reach the higher meditation state.
Emotional Balance Assistance Device works to enhance your mental and spiritual power to bring harmony in social life and promotes a connection to a higher realm. Emotional Balance Assistance Device give a great sight of sign of nature in maintaining and full fill your heart, mental and spiritual with love, happiness, compassion and also lift your personal quality.
Peace Flame – Chakras/Stress Relief & More (Value $30.00 / R494)
Peace Flame from Hari ~ Chakras/Stress Relief & More Peace Flame is a calm and powerful energy channeled to calm the mind and alleviate continual worry, anxiety, hypertension and obsessional thought patterns. Peace Flame works through Solar Plexus chakra, Heart chakra and Sacral Chakra.
The energy of this tool is powerful to help us in situations of grief and sorrow. Assists in moving through the emotions with grace and balance. This energy is also strengthens and shields aura from unwanted energies. Dispels attached entities, thought forms.
Peace Flame promotes inner security, especially where one’s upbringing has been lacking in parental love or financial security. This spray promotes self-esteem, a positive attitude, courage in the face of adversity, and the removal of any ancestral or personal emotional patterns that have led to a feeling of unworthiness or lack of self-belief.