One good thing about Life under Lockdown is that it has become acceptable to talk about mental health. People can now see what mental health is all about in practice. Being cooped up indoors, not having much exercise, strange dreams and poor sleep, lack of ability to focus has made many people understand the need to take action. It has made people realise that having a routine is vital in maintaining good mental health, especially those who normally work in companies and have been laid off or furloughed. Many people suddenly feel powerless, without purpose, nothing to belong to, not even taking a familiar bus, train, or car journey to work each day. Yet learning the hard way is often the best way to learn anything.
For many years, I have delivered a minimum of eight talks per month to schools and companies. Sometimes more and in the holiday months less. Like other people, it has been tricky not to be going all over the country giving talks and to have so many cancellations and no new bookings each day. Yikes what about my self-esteem? Suddenly, I was having to remember to practice what I preached.
Good mental health is having the ability to cope. It is about acceptance and the ability to adapt to what is happening now. It occurs when we are balanced and have perspective. To use the vernacular – when we can pull back and watch the big wide screen.
I have reconnected with old friends, composed eulogies for the two that have recently died, written a near daily gratitude list, emptied the dishwasher, tried to take on any manual tasks going and been lucky enough to play ping pong on a table outside.
But one of the most fun and rewarding things I have done during Lockdown is to record some slightly wacky, lateral, and off duty talks indirectly about mental health in my …shed ….to be known as RADIO SHED TALKS. Have posted a couple on Facebook and had a big thumbs up so far. Obviously, there are more relevant things like my new online talks, new book group workshops and other things but wanted to keep you all in the right now loop. Here’s to us all being Unlocked.