Life is outta whack at the moment and most of us are riding a tsunami of unfamiliar emotions created by a deep tremor of doubt over covid. For me it has been mostly anger but there’s also been anxiety, depression, resignation and simply a lack of motivation.
My editor returned my first draft of this story and said, “I feel the catharsis of your anger released… but that’s not going to help anyone.”
So, here’s a few things that have helped me recalibrate and regain balance in these uncertain times…
1. No News Is Good News
I don’t watch, listen to, or read the news anymore, and I’ve never been happier not knowing. My world has shrunk, but so has my anxiety. My mental health has improved immeasurably now that I’m not riding the daily rollercoaster of doom and gloom.
Try it for a week. See how it lightens your life. If a total media blackout is too much, headlines and snippets are often enough.
2. Forget Facebook
Facebook is full of enraging and exhausting opinions and conspiracy theories, and the fear there is contagious. I’ve stepped away and freed myself from posts and people that drag me down.
Yes, loud and long! It helps rid the body of anger and stress, though maybe with a pillow to cover your mouth out of respect for your neighbours.
4. Dance Wildly
Put on some on loud, angry music (again, headphones might be a good idea if you have neighbours) and dance madly. Shake your fists, box if you can. Expend all that pent-up energy.
Not enough can be said about the benefits of exercise and the endorphins it releases, the serotonin levels it boosts, and enhancing your appetite and sleep. During times of stress, you should be moving and doing something for your body on a daily basis.
6. Check In On Friends
Shift inward thinking to an outward focus on others. Simple acts like checking in on friends is a great start. A phone call trumps a text message any day.
7. Have Covid-Free Conversations
When I speak with friends, I’ve asked that we don’t talk about covid. I’ve even gone so far as to request we limit the conversation to positive subjects. There’s no point wallowing or raging in a discussion that just riles me up again. It’s too easy to fall into an echo chamber of frustration and despair if we’re both just complaining.
8. Be Kind To Others… And Yourself
Practice understanding and forgiveness. Everyone is handling life’s current stresses in their own way. You also need to be compassionate with yourself. Cut yourself some slack.
9. Delay Decisions
Now may not be the time to make life-altering decisions. We’re all operating under a diminished capacity, whether up-front or in the background, which makes it hard to make informed, clear choices.
10. Go Bush, Seek The Water
Studies have shown that just getting out in nature has a soothing effect. Being near water has a particular calming influence.
11. Concentrate On What You Can Control
With so much beyond our control at present, focusing on what we can regulate reduces stress – even if that’s something as simple as making the bed, eating balanced meals, taking care of ourselves and our environment.
12. Be Present
Find joy in the simple things, the small wins that each day presents. Worrying about the future fosters anxiety, concentrating on the past can trigger depression. Things like meditation and reading a good book can keep us firmly rooted in the now.
13. Have A Damn Good Wank
Anxiety and angst slips away and all seems to be at peace with the world following a satisfying ejaculation. Indulge in a little me-time with some self-pleasure. It’s nature’s sleeping pill.
14. Practice Gratitude
This can be a tough one when there are so many things seemingly going “wrong” with life at the moment, but studies have shown the more that we can acknowledge and be grateful for the little things, the more content we are. A glass half-full and all that.
15. Finally… Acceptance
The quickest way to adjust to a new situation is to exercise acceptance. Covid has overstayed its welcome; it’s not going anywhere and there are likely some more covid curveballs to come. Rather than waste energy wishing it away, plan for a life with it, and be pleasantly surprised when the fucker finally gets the hint and leaves.
Mental Health Help From Mosh
Telehealth provider, Mosh offer online psychological consulting. With Mosh, many Australians have been able to get help in the comfort of their own home, which has been necessary during the pandemic. Mosh gives the first psychologist session free.
Mosh ask clients to complete a two-minute questionnaire before connecting them to a qualified Australian doctor for a video consult. The doctor assesses the client’s suitability for a mental health plan and issues one, if appropriate.
You can then choose a certified psychologist on the online platform and have up to 10 video call sessions with them. Face-to-face consultations can be intimidating, and the service gives people the ability to reach out to a medical professional via phone online, making it a more comfortable. Mosh have both registered and clinical psychologists with a wide range of specialties.
At Mosh, psychologist consults are priced well below the government recommended rate to make it more affordable, and bulk billing is also an option for those who have a GP referral and a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP).
With a valid Mental Health Care Plan and a referral, you can bulk bill and pay $0. An MHCP is a support plan written by your doctor and is available to anyone with Medicare. A MHCP must be accompanied by a referral letter from your doctor to see a psychologist. Simply book an extended consult for a mental health assessment.