Staying hopeful during a pandemic
Whilst we’ve been stuck inside for the UK’s second national lockdown this Autumn, it is important that we look after ourselves, physically, emotionally and mentally. I am finding a variety of ways to maintain hope during this time. Hope is incredibly important, and I find myself full of hope and gratitude amongst the worry and the constant fear. Having such an array of emotions is natural, and it’s completely normal in these uncertain times, and everyone will have both good and bad days. This is completely normal and it is completely okay to feel confused, worried or low in mood.
To improve my mood I take plenty of time for self care at the moment. I often have bubble baths, read books, listen to music and eat lots of chocolate because these all make me happy. Find something that makes you happy within the present moment. Everyone is unique, so take time for yourself and what makes you feel relaxed or happy. This can even include cleaning, cooking, watching TV, colouring, going on a walk or socialising with friends or family online.
We are so blessed to have technology, which enables us to connect with our loved ones, despite not being able to see everyone in person which we all crave so much. Socialise often, your friends and family are here to support you and give you hope. One day, we will be reunited with our loved ones, but for now, we must rely on technology, and how lucky we are to have it.
Find something to be hopeful for. At the moment it is incredibly important that we maintain our hope, and it is okay if that feels difficult. It is okay to feel low in mood, worried or overwhelmed. I find hope for the future, and week by week I organise calls with my family which give me something to look forward to. I plan which shows I want to watch and this gives me a small glimmer of hope each week. On a long term scale, I am hopeful for 2021, I am hopeful for Christmas. So whether it is finding something to stay hopeful for on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, or just in the long term future, find what gives you hope, and it can be the smallest of things.
Finally, it is okay to not be okay. And it is okay to reach out for support. We are in a pandemic, and these times are unusual. MindMate has lots of resources including information on common issues, help and fun games. There are also links to other amazing mental health charities and free helplines. So reach out, talk to your friends and family, talk to us and find something that makes you happy.