A lot of people are not feeling so great at the moment, and increasing numbers are showing signs of real distress mentally and physically, with heightened anxiety and with low mood.
I notice many people who are interpreting their symptoms to mean there is something wrong with them, that they are inadequate, insufficient, broken etc etc.
I want to remind people who are suffering that to experience anxiety and low mood in the current circumstances is normal. Completely normal. These are responses to what is happening, to the changes in our lives that have been so fundamental.
The last year has been one of many losses. We have lost the ability to connect physically with the people we love. We have lost the stimulation of social interactions, of workplaces, of education. We have lost the freedom to go to interesting places, to shop where we want to, to exercise in settings we enjoy. We have lost the choice to go out into nature beyond our local environment.
As we lose so many different kinds of connections, and our former illusion of certainty of what the future will bring (what we thought we knew didn’t happen, right?), our systems are inevitably thrown into turmoil, and symptoms come up to communicate to us that this is not OK. We are not feeling OK.
Odd as it may sound, and painful as it is, it is OK not to be OK. Look honestly at what has happened in your life, what has changed, and acknowledge the impact this has had on you. I’m sure you are already thinking about what you can do to support yourself, but keep on with it.
Be creative in your ways of finding connection, and meaning, beyond yourself (and within the rules we are asked to follow). Set intentions, help others, do things that bring collective smiles. And take care to move, to ground yourself, and to hold what is arising within you.
And take heart. Mental health symptoms follow experiences (in the main). As your experiences change, so will the ways you feel. You can do much to change that now, and can also know that this too will pass, in which ways I don’t yet know, but I do know nothing stays the same, and all is changing.
Sending heartfelt good wishes to all affected mentally and emotionally by what continues to unfold.