Hi and welcome to my first post of 2021. I’ve been thinking a lot about new years resolutions and have decided they are not for me this year. January is a shitty enough month without worrying about reinventing myself, its cold, wet, dark and miserable. So I’m saying NO to ‘New Year, New Me’, ‘Dry January’, ‘Veganuary’ or any other incentive that will put pressure on me to do without. So I will be finishing the Christmas Cake and chocolates because its wet or snowing outside, I will be enjoying a baileys coffee to warm me up when I get home in the dark and cold. I might even enjoy a glass of White Zinfandel on a Friday night.
For me, January is usually a time for planning, working out aims and goals for the year, thinking about which workshops, training, events and fundraising activities we can fit in and when. But this year is a bit different, I’m finding it difficult to plan fully the same way as usual. Because I find cancelling plans very deflating I am not making any concrete plans for this year at all. Instead I am going to prepare for when we can meet again and thinking of how I can get through this lockdown. So I’m going to finish writing my course ‘Dealing with Depression’, which I started and has been on my to-do-list ever since lockdown number 1. Making lists of activities that we can do in the invisible illnesses support group. Deciding on places that we can visit with the community friends. I’m compiling a birthdays book so that I can send cards for peoples birthdays, as I believe they are important little ways of showing that you care.
Finally, I’ve decided to do little random acts of kindness whenever I am able to as I have found that making someone else smile makes me feel good.
Thank you for visiting Community Spirit’s website. I thought I should give you a bit of an insight into who is behind the organisation. I’m Vicky, I’m not only a director of Community Spirit but also a wife and mother of 3, so things do get a bit hectic every now and then! I’m slightly nervous about writing this blog and I’m not entirely sure what I hope to accomplish, other than to let people see that I am a genuine person and have highs and lows and hopefully that will resonate with others. If this makes one person realise that whatever they are going through, someone somewhere is going through the same thing and they reach out to talk, whether that’s to me or someone else I believe it’s worth pushing myself to do this and put myself out there.
As we enter our second national lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are struggling with their mental health, worrying about work, family and Christmas, fear of missing out on celebrations, anxiety about buying presents for children. You are not alone, everyone is finding a way to cope with this uncertain situation and dealing with it in their own way. We hear people saying ‘We’re all in the same boat’ no we aren’t -we might all be travelling through the same storm, but some of us are in luxury yachts, some are on rafts, some of us have life- jackets and a crew, others have a broken oar and a wet map! So please be compassionate, think about your actions and don’t assume you know what someone else is going through. Even if you think your boats are the same- you might not be able to see the leak in theirs!
At Community Spirit we want to help you get through this and come out smiling. So here are 5 ideas to help you sail through it (sorry I just couldn’t resist that last pun)
Write it down- whatever you are worrying about, feeling or thinking write it down. The process of writing things down helps to focus the mind, can clarify how you feel and help you to process and come up with solutions.
Focus on your senses- if you feel overwhelmed or anxious, take a deep breath and concentrate on what you can see, touch, hear, smell and taste. This is a grounding technique and will help to bring you back to the present moment and what you are currently experiencing instead of your mind racing ahead.
Go for a walk- physical activity is really beneficial in releasing seratonin, decreasing muscle tension and regular exercise can increase resilience.
Talk to someone – Just because you cant physically be near others you can still phone, email, video-call or even write. Regularly connecting with others to share ideas and coping strategies can give you a sense of purpose, which in turn boosts your happiness. Even speaking to neighbours over the fence can be beneficial to you both.
Turn off the news – or at least reduce how much time you spend watching it, obviously you do need to know whats happening but as the majority of the news is negative and sensationalised this can increase your fears and make you feel worse.