I read a quote on social media recently that said ‘ we are all in it together but we are not all on the same page’. How true is that, everyone’s situation is unique and how individuals respond is also unique, our NHS heroes are fighting Covid-19 on the front line, saving lives and putting their own and their families lives at risk and yet we are complaining of not being able to go out, see our friends, get our hair done etc., but in our own worlds, these are our own individual concerns and can and will cause us stress too.
We all have stress in our lives, we have all developed coping mechanism, we don’t always recognise it, new situations release new reactions – new situations like Covid-19.
Our bodies reaction to stress is flight/fight and this produces chemical/physical and psychological changes, controlled by autonomic nervous system and endocrine system which causes;
Pituitary releases 30 hormones to control physiological responses
Liver releases extra sugar to fuel muscles
Digestion slows, saliva and mucus dry up
Endorphins are secreted
Blood vessels constrict and the spleen releases more red blood cells to help carry oxygen
Hands and feet become sweaty, hearing is more acute and vision becomes clearer
Extreme amounts of stress can suppress the immune system
The body takes time return to normal state
People who experience stress live in a state of constant readiness
Stressful situations can actually be happy or exciting too, getting married, having a baby or moving house, but now imagine these are happening during Covid-19.
Covid -19 is not an acute stressor, its something that’s lingering, day after day
Covid -19 has two characteristics that are the worst for stress – its uncontrollable and its unpredictable
Social distancing is not our normal state, not our normal position in times of stress
Some practical suggestions are:
Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media.
Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting
Take care of your body, take deep breaths, stretch or meditate
Try to eat healthy, well balanced regular meals
Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Make time to unwind
Connect with others, talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feel
Have a structure to your day and differentiate work/non work hours and days off
You have probably heard that during this time we are having more dreams which are also more vivid, our dreams are often linked to things that we have supressed during the day. During this unusual time that we are experiencing, here are some possible interpretations which you may be able to relate to;
Gasping for Air – Symbolic of fear of catching the virus. Can be so real you wake up experiencing symptoms
Being Chased – Related to fear of contamination, instead of confronting you are running away
Natural Disasters – Feeling your life is out of control
Crashing Fears- Any kind of accident suggests the need to be extra vigilant
Falling and Flying – Suggests you are losing yourself in an area of your waking life
A Sinking Feeling – Drowning suggests you are submerged by fear of anxiety about the virus
So sometimes we are feeling stress and reacting to the stress of our unusual circumstances without connecting it to being stressed, I mention this as it happened to me this week. I was trying to get onto a meeting virtually and couldn’t, I tried everything and everyone else in the meeting seemed to be able to and now were waiting for me, people where asking where I was, texting me with different things to try. Meanwhile my hands were sweaty, my heart was raising and I felt like I could burst in to tears! Secondly doing the research into dreams awakened a forgotten dream I had recently connected to being on holiday and not being able to get back because of extreme weather and the plan crashing! So I started to recognise I was feeling stressed and have taken some steps to reduce it.
On a different note, I had to do something about my toe nails this week, over 3 months since I had gel put on and they were in a terrible state. I ordered some acetone nail polish remover off the internet ,the type that is like a sponge and some cuticle oil and downloaded a basic ‘how to do your own pedicure’ off google. It took a while but I found, by firstly using a rough nail file, I could get the top coat off and then I put my actual toes into the little pot and left them in to soak, then filed them again until it was gone.
As you know from previous blogs my usually blond highlighted hair is suffering now with very dark roots, I have managed to order something that should help with the advise of my hair dresser but that’s not arrived yet so will blog about that when it does. In the meantime she suggested I nourish my hair with treatments, I had some Olaplex 3 in the cupboard so I gave my hair a condition treatment this week leaving it on for a good 30 mins and my hair, despite dark roots, looked and felt great. All these products from my favourite bargain website justmylook.com