No matter how dark that tunnel may be, there is ALWAYS light at the end, unless there is a power outage and even then you will be out of a tunnel with all the restrictions.
I would have loved to discuss something very remote from the current pandemic but over the past week many people seem to dwell on stress and worry and rightfully so; uncertainties!!! Fear of becoming ill or a loved one falling ill, fear of death or losing one’s job, financial challenges and having limited access to critical needs.
As humans the absence of disease alone is not enough to say we are well/healthy but our PHYSICAL, MENTAL & SOCIAL well-being are all important. Every individual manages a situation differently so there is no one-cap fits all approach but many of the points below will be helpful.
- DO NOT be too hard on yourself…understand you may have high and low times and may even “catch” yourself in tears sometimes. This too SHALL PASS
- Share your feelings with someone you can confide in or a professional. It is OKAY to speak to a psychologist and I recommend that strongly even if you are handling things very well. Prevention is ALWAYS king!!
- Pray, meditate , sing praises and worship throughout the day to lift your spirit
- Take breaks often as you work. Don’t wait till you are worn out. I recommend at least 5 minutes every hour.
- Keeping a routine during your day is very helpful
- Do things you love every day; read a book, squeeze in hobbies egg gardening or learn something new such as painting or playing an instrument.
- Keep in touch with family and friends using all at your disposal egg calls, emails, texts, and video.
- Seek professional help when you are finding it difficult to cope. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. Do not wait until it’s too late.
- As much as possible keep the phone line of at least 2 professionals you may reach out to when necessary
- A great time to ICE (in case of emergency) your phone if you haven’t done that already
- Save the contact of someone who knows a lot about you so that in case of an emergency people may contact that person on your behalf e.g. ICE Kojo Essel
- Get sleep and adequate rest to keep you in your best shape
- Exercise at least five days a week and all through your wakeful hours move a lot
- Eat a healthy/balanced meal and drink a lot of water
- Avoid alcohol excesses and minimize caffeine intake
- Deep breathing exercises, stretching, good music and hobbies will help to relax you
- Get a good dose of sunshine and nature daily
I have in the pas discussed the need for each of us to have a ME TIME; that 10 minutes or so that you keep to yourself each day to unwind, relax your mind, assess your day etc. I think it’s time to schedule worry no matter how impossible it may sound (we are all in learning mode right?) just as this is a perfect time to list things we are grateful for. Gratitude often acts as a magnet that attracts many many good things to us.
- Instead of allowing worry to eat you up all day, what about setting aside 10 minutes each day to worry?
- Fix a time e.g. 8pm to 8.10pm (you may even use afternoons. Important point is to schedule)
- When a worry pops up in your mind write it down. This puts your mind at ease since it realizes the “object of worry” will be taken care of
- If at WORRY TIME the point listed is no longer an issue, GOOD. Keep on with life. If it’s still an issue try to think true it; you may either be able to handle it on your own or with help or there is nothing you can do about it. Accept each option.
- Appreciate the fact that scheduling worry time does not mean you will no longer fret, it’s a process and we all continue to improve.
COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS/GRATITUDE
- Spend a few minutes to list things, people , events that you are grateful for in the day
- It does not matter even if it’s small; you had a meal that you took for granted, someone said a kind word to you, you are not ill. All these count
- When you count your “blessings and name them one by one you will be surprised what the Lord has done.”
- You may choose to write them down every day but that is not necessary. You may just run them in your mind and maybe 2 or three times in a week you may actually write them down. AMAZING what happens to us.
Let us make time to take good care of ourselves. It is the only way we can be the best versions of ourselves so that we can help others.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, ENSURE HYGIENE, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials Ltd/Mobissel/St. Andrews Clinic
*Dr. Essel is a Medical Doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy, fitness nutrition and corrective exercise.
Thought for the week – #educatecosyourlifedependsonit
- Mental Health Technology Transfer Centre Network