4 Lockdown Problems & Solutions
Musings by Stefan Freedman.
1. HOME LIKE A GARBAGE DUMP
<> First you felt unwell. This left you feeling exhausted. Then there was so much mess you couldn't face it and said 'Bugger it!' Anyway it;s the government's bloody fault, so let THEM clear it all up!
<> Well it's a luxury to not have to clear up. Nobody coming round, so why even get dressed?! But when it's not fun any more, like the morning after the party when the place looks trashed and sad, there's your motivation.
<> Here's the plan. Take one small area. A corner of a room or a work surface. You are not 'clearing up' but CREATING a new look. Attractive, spacious, well organised.
<> Make each area a small project - a work or art - and there's no need to attack it all in one day. The pleasure of seeing a new home emerging will spur you on.
2. COMFORT EATING (or drinking)
<> Be curious about what is niggling - why you want comforting. Take a few moments to notice the underlying feelings. Feeling lost? Lonely? Frustrated? Resentful? Pissed off?!
<> Hope you know that these are healthy normal responses. They arise when things change beyond our control, especially if there is fear and constraint. So, no need for self-blame or any shame. Comfort eating/drinking is quite a sensible response for a short term crisis! But it's not sustainable over time.
<> A realistic solution is to meet more emotional needs. What would be the first step? If you're not sure, think of one or two people you could talk this over with (online/phone) to identify a starting point.
<> Sometimes taking a caring interest in someone else has a 2-way benefit and YOU will end up feeling a warm glow.
3. POINTLESSNESS (or despair)
<> Does it feel strange not having a daily role, or a time structure? Do you sometimes wonder, 'What's the point?' - 'What use am I?' You want things to go back to normal but there's no knowing if or when that will be. It feels like being in prison. But everyone else is also in prison, so there are no visitors! What now?
<> The issues here are wanting a sense of purpose, wanting a structure to your days, and wanting friendship, love and community life. These are vital building blocks for our human identities. What is the most essential to you of the things you long for?
<> With house-clearing I suggested looking at one corner of one room and making a start. Same with building a structure and new purpose in a locked-down world. Identify just ONE of the things that has meaning for you. Music, science, nature, novels, psychology, peace, talking openly? Look online for a group you like who communicate about that subject.
<> You might initially get involved simply by reading what others post, then by joining a discussion. If you like being active you could support or start a discussion, a fundraiser, a project ... in other words find a point of connection with people who share your passion. When you have made your first connection you have 'broken the spell'. That feeling of numb paralysis will leave you and you can get as involved as you wish to.
4. FEAR (panic/confusion/sleeplessness)
<> Most likely the news contributes to this. Who in their right mind would NOT feel deep chronic anxiety?! A plague we can't control, predict or even agree on about the facts. Environmental problems which desperately need addressing - but no international concerted effort. Major powers with bully-boy leaders with as much empathy as a crocodile. It's only natural to feel concerned.
<> And yet we don't help anyone if we go into overwhelm, lose sleep and become ill. A part of the 'dance' is finding a way to live with crisis and uncertainty. To rebalance. Not only to live but to relish life and thrive. Why waste it? This is a big topic, so just a few starter suggestions:
a - OASIS:
'The News' goes over and over the same ground. Meanwhile there are wonderful human initiatives happening everywhere all the time which mostly go unreported. Whatever makes your heart sing, find the positive news in that area of life. It's just as real and just as important. If you're addicted to the national news, I suggest having an 'oasis' and checking it out maximum once a day, so that news of the rest of life can filter through.
b - INNER LIFE:
There is an alternative Universe just as physical and real, which is inside you. It's a miraculous realm equipped with imagination (travel anywhere), emotions (a symphony of feelings), understanding (complex, subtle, interconnected) and mysteries still to be explored. Usually we are too busy to really inhabit our other Universe but you have a chance now to go exploring, either solo, through meditation, books or in discussion with others online. Take a small exploratory trip within and you could be happily surprised.
c - BODY WISDOM:
The body has a mind of its own, which is in direct communication with your glands, circulation, lymph system and brain chemistry. When the body stretches, breathes deeply, sways, dances or does any movement, the entire system feels better. There is flow instead of stagnation. adrenaline decreases, fear is discharged and positive endorphins create a feelgood sensation. This boosts health and aids sleep. Just walking is a therapy. Dancing is dynamite!
d - H.P:
Scientists agree that whether we look at the microcosm or the vast Universe beyond, we are looking at an incredibly coherent system. There is now a growing research-based belief that the essential building block from which all of creation emanates is not 'matter' (which is hardly there at all when you look closely) but 'consciousness'. If things are incredibly complex and coherent, how much more amazing is the realm of conscious awareness?
So whether we think in terms of an implicit order (congruence) or a Unifying Force, Source, Higher Power (HP) or God, these are just words pointing to an experience greater than we can name or fathom. When times are tough, that's sometimes when people report finding their connection with HP (by whatever name). We don't have to do this 'alone' when we notice that our separate personalities are simultaneously linked - like Quantum waves - with every other manifestation of life.
Hope these musings are interesting. Please respond or add your own.