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How to cope in challenging times

Can you remember your life before lockdown? How we didn’t appreciate freedom of movement, being spontaneous, seeing lots of friends at once, impromptu meals out, swimming, regular clubs and activities with others. The ease of walking into a shop with a great selection of items. Hugs and kisses. Being able to comfort those in distress. And for some of us being able to work.

Yes there were positives about being confirmed to your home. Time to catch up on sleep, read, binge watch TV, do all those you jobs you had meant to finish. We saved money by staying in. Some learnt a new skill (I relearned to use a sewing machine and how to paint and decorate; repairing simple things).

I didn’t make banana bread or learn a language. I did do two COVID-19 courses for health professionals though. And I read and listened to over 25 books (ebooks and audiobooks save space too) and read countless magazines. A big thanks to my online library service for this!

But it has been a challenge. Stress and anxiety rates are rising. Those working from home report being busier than ever with no time to eat or walk to the next office to stretch their legs. Staying upbeat can be difficult and many have found their mental health has taken a hit.

In times of high stress our brain constantly switches between logical thought and our emotional voice. The better this loop is working the more robust you will be able to bounce back from stress. Looking after yourself on all levels can help. The usual advice here: eat plenty of whole meal plant based foods and drink enough water, especially on waking to hydrate in the morning.

Move that body! Online yoga, walk, run, cycle, get outside and breath the fresh air and stroll to change your mood. On a grey wet day walking in my new yellow wellies through the woods with the dripping trees was a surprising pleasure!

We have spanned watching spring turn to summer and now it’s blackberry time. The wheat fields are turning gold and the apples are ripening. The the persistent bird song and tamer wildlife has made me smile many times.


Finding it hard to adjust? Are you a perfectionist? 80% is good enough. Maybe less? As we get older we become less capable and more anxious. Neither are good for our blood pressure or our wellbeing. Accept and be kind with your self talk.

‘You are worth it’. Use your best dinner service for you on your own; why not? Turn out your underwear drawer: how about treating yourself to new matching comfy silkies not the faded stretched old items ‘that will do’.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Social media might be worth a break if you get FOMO (fear of missing out). As a friend said; no one posts dull pictures…

Sleep is worth an article if it’s own (and I have written one!) as without this it’s near impossible to function. Keep repeating those good practices.

Harness the power of acupuncture points yourself by doing some acupressure if you are not ready or able to go out yet.

Easily self-treat by pressing this point on your head
Easily self-treat by pressing this point on your head

Thankfully I have been able to resume working and having my own acupuncture treatments too since the 1st of July (contact me to book now).  Many patients are stiff, anxious, aching and out of sorts and it’s so rewarding to be able to help.

So what if we have a second wave of infections, another lockdown or a future pandemic? People are reporting how they have loved a more relaxed schedule being at home with the kids or having no commute and comfy home office clothes. Personally I love going to work: interacting with people and the sense of achievement and satisfaction I get from my job.

The ‘new’ way I have to work does take more advance planning and more time to clean; costs more for the resources and PPE and adjusting to different premises and rooms has been tiring. Now I am in a routine and am working on Plan B (training to offer remote support and services if we have a repeat situation). Watch this space!