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  • Mark Brafield

Managing the virus

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

We are now - hopefully - about half-way through the most serious period of lockdown to try and contain the corona virus, having completed three weeks of isolation and with another three weeks having just been announced.

I expect we are all finding our own strategies for dealing with being kept at home, and there have been plenty of articles in the media about how to manage the particular stresses that this imposes.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of some of the more useful suggestions that I have seen (many of which come from Julia Samuels's excellent book 'This Too Shall Pass').

* Establish a routine for each day and stick to it. If appropriate, plan it out the evening before.

* Take pride in the simple, menial tasks of everyday life.

* Every day, clean one thing more than you would normally. Polish your shoes and you can take over the world.

* Remember that there is a part of your brain that is constantly alert to look for danger, threats and bad news. If triggered, it will turn on the 'fight or flight' reaction that will stop you thinking clearly.

* Limit your exposure to news about the corona virus to what is useful and necessary. What you put in your mind has just as much an impact as what you put in your mouth.

* 'Take your own temperature' and notice whether at this time you feel, particularly, lonely or vulnerable. Be aware that you are more likely to be influenced by bad news at this time.

* Feelings are not facts. Feeling vulnerable or despairing does not make it a reality.

* Try to pursue some sort of creative activity. If this can be a long-term project to stretch across the weeks, perhaps a jigsaw puzzle, a long novel or box set, then so much the better.

* Make time to exercise each day.

* Eat healthily. Give yourself treats but be aware of being overly drawn to sugar and alcohol.

* And - most important - if you are isolated with others, make sure you have some time to yourself each day.

Pick one or two of these to begin with and see how, from small beginnings, they can really help to cope with this time. What works best for you ?

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