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Monday is here - please make it welcome

Posted by: Anita Procter on 27-04-2020

My computer has just wiped my blog.  I had nearly finished it and, suddenly, the web-thingy closed itself.  "Gosh, darn it," I said aloud.  I have to start over again.  So, I've opened it up again, put on some music - Arctic Monkeys, since you asked, and re-checked my emails.

I had written about a dip I had had.  Yesterday, everything went a bit "Pete Tong."  I could not put a brave face on things and it was all a bit rubbish.  Well, a lot rubbish.  And I couldn't do the things I would usually do.  Go out shopping, have lunch out and then sit in a park and read.  I was stuck at home.

Now I am very lucky - I am writing this in the provision.  I have got the space to be away from my family and regroup.  So, what can people do in a dip?  When it gets too much, but there's no way out.

Acknowledge the feelings. 

I spent the afternoon in my room, wallowing in misery and feeling sorry for myself.  I didn't "snap out of it" and resume normal service.  And that was ok.  These are strange times and all emotions are valid.  I was definitely in the blue zone.  I suppose it has been building up.  Five weeks of uncertainty past and an uncertain future.  There are rumblings on the news about schools going back after half-term, July, September.  It's all uncertain and that is hard to deal with.  We have to go with the flow, when we can.

Get some exercise.

I am lucky that I come into school at least once a week.  I walk in and walk home, smiling at random people (Science says that's a good thing), taking in my environment and listening to "I, Claudius" on my phone.  That's an audio book and is jolly good.  It's all about the emperor Claudius and his life before he became emperor of Rome.  There are lots of murders in it and a huge amount of intrigue.  It is one of my favourite books.

Talk to people.

Just a five minute conversation when I got into school helped me.  Having someone I can talk to honestly and who listens is so important.  And knowing they don't judge me and acknowledge that sometimes things are a bit rubbish is good.  It's not a magic fix, but it does remind me that I am not alone.  And that is where social media is great.  Being able to reach out and talk to someone is really important.  It could be that you can sit and talk to your parents about how you are feeling, or text your friend and have a moan.  Communication is key - we are a social animal and need to interact with others.  Others may not have the answers, but just by being able to articulate how you are feeling means that you are acknowledging it and can then go on to deal with it.

Nature.

Not camping.  Camping is never the answer.  My chilli plant now has 7 leaves.  Where I have failed with my mint (I honestly can kill that without trying), I am succeeding with a chilli plant.  Strange.  And my sunflowers are coming up, as is my coriander and basil.  The sweetpeas have not yet emerged - perhaps they are waiting for the others to grow so I can give them more attention.  I also intend to plant some marigolds.  I have never been very successful with plants in the past, but it won't stop me trying now.  I will be like Poison Ivy in the Batman comics, without the lycra.  

Routine.

So important.  I am proud to say that I have always dressed, despite the lockdown.  I don't mean I put on my pyjamas, I mean properly dressed.  Not a ballgown, I don't own one of those, but clothes I could go outside in without causing a furore.  I have tried to do different things every day, not just sit on the sofa and watch Netflix.  Although that is part of my schedule.  Now my Amazon Prime deal has run out, I have had to fall back on Homeland to watch.  Don't watch it: it has lots of unsuitable things in it - sometimes I can't watch it and have to get my eldest daughter to tell me when it's safe for me to take the cushion off my face.  It is part of my routine though.  Along with work, research, jigsaws, reading, gardening, daily exercise and having a bath.  If you know what comes next, at least in your day, it can give you a feeling of security and purpose.  Once I've spent an hour working on my puzzle, I make myself a cup of chai tea (milk and one sugar) and can move onto the next thing.  See?  There's a kind of zen in it.

My cat.

This is part of my coping regime.  I don't mean for you to use my cat.  He's mine.  And I don't share well with others.  Pets are good.  They make you slow down and focus on them.  Especially my cat.  He will sit on me and purr.  I then feel that I can't push him off and do other things, as he's made the effort to find me and sit on my lap.  Or legs.  Or chest.  With his back to me.  I mean, he's a cat and they are not the most empathic animals in the world.  But the act of stroking his fur and talking to him, even just sitting there with him near me is calming.  I know not everyone has a cat or a pet.  I think the weight of the cat is part of the calming process and there are things like weighted blankets that can help with local coherence - helping you to feel grounded and in the moment.  And you don't have to feed a weighted blanket.

Hobbies.

I love a puzzle.  I am working on one at the moment that is about Captain Hook.  I have always felt an affinity to the baddies in Disney films, not sure why.  And I read.  And I draw (badly, but I draw).  And I like to write.  I would love to learn how to knit, but I am very clumsy and knitting needles are a weapon, so I'm not allowed them without supervision.  Think about what you like to do.  Things that bring you joy and allow to lose yourself in them.  Ooh.  Cake.  Even if the end result isn't a work of genius, a hobby can be therapeutic and positive.  I know what I write won't ever be published, but it is a good way of getting my feelings out and I can develop ideas.

There are countless websites and books for dealing with low moods, do a Google.  Or not.  But know it will pass.

 

Stay safe

 

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