Managing SELF During Isolation – Covid-19

As I said in Part 1 of HOW TO THRIVE IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES – many people in the US, Europe etc., are becoming overwhelmed by the changes effects of COVID-19 and we are only beginning to understand the seriousness of the pandemic… even then people are still not taking matters as seriously as they should.

I went out yesterday and was surprised at the laxity I see all around.  COVID-19 is in our midst and most people are clueless or refusing to see what is happening.  Taking a cue from what is happening elsewhere, what may play out may not be funny at all.  People are still doing things we have been told not to do.  At fuel stations at supermarkets people are jammed together.

This is a challenging period for us – however as I stated in Part 1 “How To Thrive In Uncertain Times’ – be encouraged to stay calm and practice social distancing in line with advice from WHO and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, and Lagos State Health Officials.  We will get through this together and come our stronger IF we adhere to all the rules and regulations.

I’d like to remind you that you can either choose to let fear control you or let it guide you. It’s understandable that you are a little scared and confused. But if you give in to fear – it could turn into mass hysteria as is happening in some parts of the world where people went crazy on stocking up as if the 3rd world war is about to begin. When at ‘risk’ it is even more important to work with the fear to implement your integrity through values based on growth, not fear.

Some are working from home now, some are anxious about what this will do to their business – some how it will affect the economics of the country which in turn will affect everything we will do. You have to accept what is happening right now and learn how to live without being stressed and giving in to fear so that you can stay mentally health – which is very crucial. Here are some tips to help you work through your emotions –

1.  Accept what is happening

It is okay to feel overwhelmed by all that is happening. To read about what is happening in other parts of the world and to find that suddenly the pandemic is at your doorstep. It is okay to vacillate between panic and calm, but you have to put a deadline on it. Don’t wallow in fear and allow it to take hold of you. Accept the reality of the times. Get informed by visiting reputable sites, and learn all of the facts about the situation so you can understand how to address it in your life.  

2.  Stick with the real truth

At present we do not know all there is about the virus. We are hearing conflicting reports, and conspiracy theories – but one thing for sure is that there is a disruption of what we know, and we will have to face more changes in the coming weeks. so it is important that you don’t get involved in making the situation worse by forward just about any information, through posts and videos that are sent to you. This action is most times the function of fear.  Share the latest FACTS from credible sources you can trust such as the WHO website or your local public health agency – for us it is the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and our Lagos State Health Ministry.

3.  Acknowledge what you are feeling

Fear is based on feeling a loss of safety, so use your common sense and take the suggested precautions. Consistently remind yourself that, in this very moment, all is well.  There is the Virus, fear and panic…fear really is more contagious than the virus if allowed to fester. 

When you find yourself in an uncontrollable situation it can cause changes in the brain and body – vigilance, insomnia, negative thoughts kick in which causes a stress related reaction to meet the ‘perceived’ challenge and when it interfers with your sense of freedom or ability to fend for yourself – you could then go into the flight or fight mode.  You either become restless and get ready to resist, which could bring about violent actions, or go into a total shutdown – leading to lethargy and deep stress.   You need to be able to recognize these feelings and check in with yourself.

4.  Don’t avoid your emotions

Accept that you are a little afraid and worried, just as everyone is. Acknowledge your emotions and work through them, you’ll feel some relief and be calmer. Ask yourself what could be the worse scenario. Then are you prepared for it? With all the information being given about how to help yourself and what to do and what not to do, you should be able to address these emotions with calmness. Because doing otherwise will cause you great stress and lead to unnecessary health complications for you.

If you need help get in touch with an Emotions Coach/Therapist if available or get in touch with us at: connectwithlaila@gmail.com.  We can arrange for to speak with you no matter where you are.

5.  Accept what you cannot control

It’s not giving up when you acknowledge there is nothing more you can do or control –  things are going to change and we will have to adapt.  Don’t allow yourself to get into a ‘pity party’. Instead, FOCUS on what you can control, take care of yourself, your loved ones and people at risk in your community, like elderly that live alone.

Be in a state of mindfulness – in the NOW.  Be aware of your body, emotions and your thoughts.  When we feel uncertainty, overwhelm and fear we need to be self-aware so that we can find a place of calm centredness. Don’t wonder what will happen in 2 months time – take care of the NOW. The world is not going as we know it. so get ready for change.

6.  Meditate

Meditation is great way to help you keep your balance. It is not to numb your feelings but to be aware of them so that you can use their energy to keep going on a day-to-day basis. One very important way is to meditate on the word of God concerning His promises to you. In this time of isolation – get to connect with God and ask to know exactly what He wants you to do in this season. Connect through reading the Bible, listening to great teachings, listening to worship and praise songs. Just let your whole self be in connection with your source – which is the Almighty God who created all. When there is a crisis like this, change wants to happen. Be positive in your thoughts your words and your actions – even in the limited space you have as you self-isolate.

7.  Exercise, Sleep, Eat Health

Don’t be a coach potato – find ways of moving.  Exercise to upbeat lifting music of your choice.  This will help get rid of static hormones which could lead to and oppressive feeling aloneness and confusion. Which could lead to depression.

Get on your treadmill if you have one – or walk in place to music that will keep you rocking. Sing to music with lyrics. If in an apartment, walk up and down the staircase (mind you don’t touch the railings).  On the internet there are exercises that you can do – for 5 minutes, 7, 10, 15 etc.  Walking in place to get the blood flowing to every area of your body…who knows, you may loose that weight in so doing. Move – so long as it is not distracting you from some schedule you have set for yourself.

Get enough sleep. Lack of quality sleep can create health conditions and obesity. Eat healthy – this is not the time to ‘comfort eat’. You don’t want to compromise your health by weight gain.

8.  Master Your Time

Get occupied by doing all the things you have put off doing because of ‘busyness’…

  • Unclutter your rooms, store etc., – clutter is energy that saps your own energy
  • Journal and write – time to do that book that you have been meaning to.
  • Write out a list of 20 things you like to do – and decide to do them one-by-one
  • Go through your computer and begin to delete files that you have double copied.
  • Go through your phone and delete unwanted pictures and notes of 2 years
  • Watch Your favorite TV shows and movies
  • Do those things that will make you feel good.  Working on your car, if you are hands-on ; it may be time to really get to know your car by polishing and cleaning it – as you did before you got the driver. Cook some new recipes – teach your kids to cook, if you haven’t done so. Learn some new skills on the internet – Youtube has many “How to do….” short trainings. Who knows what will happen when things get better – you may just add the new skills to your repertoire.
  • Learn something from the internet.  The new key to success in this decade is Self-Growth and Personal Development.  It is not all about making money but learning what could be interfering with your ability to create wealth and how to sustain wealth etc.,  There are free sites you can do this from.  As I said, join up to my group where you will be given day to day tips as it comes and you can ask questions related to business, your profession, your health etc., 

9.  Meaningful Connections.

There is a danger when you have to distance yourself from people – this could have a negative effect on your emotions.  You still need to stay in touch with people. Maintaining social distancing is not easy but doable when you decide to do so. .

Reaching out socially to others will also make you feel calm.  You can email/and text your friends and family who are not around you.  But try to have a mix of different media tools – facetime, video call, and so many others. Writing is fine but when alone, it is important to put a human face to the interaction. It gives a connection that can drive away the feeling of loneliness and aloneness.

Also, acts of kindness increases our immune system….so CHAT with some who you also know is alone and not able to go out – who is in self-quarantine, isolation or whatever.  There are people who are used to being alone and not lonely – who are content with what they have.  But when they are in imposed isolation – it is a bit different. So – stay in contact

It is also a time to have emotional conversations with your spouse and your children.  One man said that his daughter was in isolation and it was the best time he had ever had with her.  They talked about so many things – even some ways he had offended her by his controlling draconian attitude. He also shared with her how her attitude had put his back up.

For your spouse – it is time to talk about deep things.  Go deep in conversation which is different from the normal perfunctory daily mumblings. But if you find you can’t do that, and your emotions are getting quite volatile with the restricted environment – then get in touch with us to assist – before tempers explode in the space you both are in.

10.  Create a Structured Schedule

Having a schedule enables you to be in control.  Create a schedule from the time of waking to time of turn down.  For example:-

  • Create a time  to check your social media at set times. Turn off notifications so that you can keep to the time.
  • Set a time for exercising. I gave you some examples in Part 1.  There are videos online to help you out.
  • Set a time for meditation.
  • Set a time to read – those books you have beside your bed or in your book shelf that you keep trying to find a time to dig into…do so now.
  • You can get in touch with a Coach for various issues you may have.  This can be done by video calls.
  • Set a time for online chats with those you care about and those that come to mind.

Once you have a daily schedule – you will feel more in control.  It is the feeling of a lack of control that could create a feeling of emptiness and confusion. Be careful not to ‘comfort eat’. You don’t want to compromise your health by weight gain.

For children:  You need to have a structured schedule.  They operate better with that.  Make out a timetable of activities that they can do within the house.  Remember that children pick up body cues of distractibility and irritability

When you parent a child – you give cues to each other of safety, calm or danger.

So managing YOU is important for the emotions of your child or children.

11.  Managing Medical Issues

If you have issues already with anxiety or PTSD, trauma history or dangerous experiences   – you will become very vulnerable during this time.  For caregivers – watch out for changes in behavior.  If possible call their therapist or get in touch with us to assist.

10.  Work with an Accountability partner

For business people or professionals it is important to have an accountability partner to keep you focused on doing what you need to do if you are working from home.  It causes stress that could affect your performance.  That is why  I set up an accountability Coaching and Mentoring Group for an affordable fee. ….You can talk to someone anytime you feel hemmed in and not able to align your thoughts. 

You can go to www.lailastmatthewdaniel.com and click on LJSMDlinks at the top– you will see the two offerings to assist you during this period.  There will be a discount on both programs.

12. Other matters

Be careful of the drugs you buy – there is so much being said about chloroquine ….. be careful that in your attempt to prevent being infected by the virus you then mess with other organs of your body. Follow the remedies I have stated in Part 1 and any other safe remedies you may come across.

It is advised to keep away from Ibrofen and instead keep paracetamol handy. Although it is not really stated as such, it is advised to boost your immune system with vitamin C, Zinc – lots of dark green vegetables and yellow coloured fruits. Live a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, be in a state of still mindfulness, avoid all things that will stress you, and obey instructions as laid down by the Health officials. All this will alleviate anxiety, help you focus on the present moment, and bring you peace of mind so you can make wise, heart-centered decisions no matter what’s happening in the world around you.

It is time for us to be positive. In one of the unnamed posts flying around, someone wrote this: “I believe that this is a time for humankind to show a higher sense of love and others before self.  A time to look inwards and realign ourselves to the greater good of our country. A time to look inwards and begin to have loyalty to our country above amassing wealth that belongs to the country.  A time for people to stop their corrupt activities. Will we seize this opportunity?  Will we stop scaremongering and fake-news across social media handles. May we all rise up to the challenge of these trying deep reflective times”

I agree totally with the post. It is time for us to inwards and assess our life up till this moment. To look beyond self to others and to our Country. Are we loyal to our Country or loyal to self which leads to actions taken to the detriment of its growth and development. Are ready to really lead when we ask people to vote for us? To show love and compassion for the masses and do all to make sure basic human needs are catered for? There are so many questions – just relax and flow into the stillness of this time. As I said earlier – this is the time to get closer to God so you can ‘hear’ when He speaks.

If you find it difficult to handle your emotions I will be available to assist you transcend these most difficult times. You can ask me questions that may be worrisome to you – due to being ‘locked down’ or isolated, issues may rise up in your relationships, your business and other areas. I am available to assist you through my email: connectwithlaila@gmail.com and join the face group private page where I will delivering tips and answers to questions.

In the meantime – stay safe by obeying all the instructions that your Country and Officials give. It will be tough but your life is more important than being inconvenienced. If you have any other things you have found yourself doing during this period, do let me know below and share your own experiences during this time. It will not be shared unless with your permission. It is a long road, but we will transcend it.

with much love, to your success and to your good health………Laila St. Matthew-Daniel

P.S. You can check the website: ncdc.gov.ng for more information in Nigeria – Telephone: 08000CORONA. Also, 080-2316-9485, 080-3356-5529, 080-5281-7243. In other parts check with your local authorities for latest advice on seeking medical assistance or more information on Covid-19.

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