Grapevine Stories

You may be keeping your body “fit” but are you keeping your mind “fit” too?

Grapevine member, Denise Little, is an Anxiety Management & Confidence Consultant and a Solution-Focused Hypnotherapist. She has kindly written us a blog on how to keep our minds healthy whilst in self-isolation.

We are in a completely new and unprecedented situation; I mean, be honest – have you ever thought that in your lifetime you would be told to stay home, not have contact with people and if you cough, then isolate yourself???

It seems so surreal – yet here we are…

I have seen loads and loads of social media posts, news articles, etc on keeping fit – Joe Wicks eat your heart out! BUT what about your mindset? What about the thoughts that are whizzing around there? Thoughts that you may have had before – but they are there and they are real!!

That anxiety about catching COVID-19 is real. That worry that your parents are old and you can’t see them – what if they get it and have to go into hospital? Or – worse still – what if you get it? Who will look after the children, the pets, the partner?? 

The list is endless…

So, I have come up with a few easy ways to get your mind as fit as your body – so when this all disappears – and IT WILL – it is only TEMPORARY – we will all be fitter and healthy – both in mind and body.

1.     Accept that it’s normal to feel worried and anxious – we all are. It’s OK to be like this. Don’t be too hard on yourself for being worried and having heightened anxiety. Accept it and say – it’s fine, everything will be fine – this is only temporary. 

2.     Look after yourself – now this may be difficult if your “release” was a yoga class or a massage – but you can still do things – it’s all about adjusting and thinking differently. There are loads of online stuff you can do – yoga, Pilates, meditation. The big question here – is what did you get from your yoga class or your massage? Was it feeling relaxed? Was it feeling calm? Did it release negativity? Ask yourself what you got and then see what you can now do that gives you the same feeling.

3.     Move…yes move!! If you feel stress or anxiety creeping up on you – MOVE! Maybe walk up and downstairs, or dance or shake your body. The reason this works is because it refocuses your mind, gets rid of the negative energy and resets your nervous system. And it’s easy to do…

4.     Get a routine – it doesn’t have to be set in stone – but having things set out – gives us all a sense of purpose and makes your day so much more fulfilling. You may be working from home – fine. But put in stuff to clear your head; perhaps do a walk everyday – if you’re allowed out. If you’re not – walk around the garden or flat. Take time out for perhaps reading, doing jigsaws, puzzles. These things that make up a routine will enable you to go to bed at night feeling a sense of accomplishment. 

5.     Keep in touch – OK so you can’t do your usual coffee meet-up, etc. but you can still chat – set up a Zoom meeting or FaceTime a friend. One thing to stipulate is that you chat about fun stuff – no negative Noras…or get writing these letters or emails you’ve put off…Think how much pleasure you’re giving to someone who gets it. And then think of the smile on your face when they reply!!

6.     Use the internet wisely. Limit the time you spend on either social media, reading the news etc – this will only increase your anxiety. Put the “online” times in your daily routine – and stick to them. Perhaps – an hour in the morning and an hour after dinner. Put the square screen away and see what else is around…

7.     “I’ll do it when I have time…” You now have time to do these tasks you’ve put off for months. It’s kind of like going to the dentist – you don’t really want to – but you know you’ll feel better afterwards!! So – get a list of the things to do and do one each day…that sense of achievement will be massive!!!

8.     Be truthful to your children. There’s no getting away from the situation. But not telling your children the truth – will only make them worry more. Their routine has been shot to pieces too. You may see changes in their sleep, their eating habits, they may seem quieter. Talk to them, reassure them. A point in case – one lady was telling me her little girl was really upset as “she didn’t want to go into the white box” – what had been going around school was that isolation meant being put into a white box….. 

9.     Do a vision board – we know this is only temporary – and things will be different afterwards – so why not get your mind thinking about what you want your life to be like afterwards? Maybe this is the time for you to think about changes you wanted to make but never did? Get paper, pen, photos – whatever – and create something….

10.  Get help – DO NOT struggle – there is help out there. If you feel that your anxiety, stress and worry is all encompassing – get help – call your doctor, call your therapist – but DO NOT struggle…

I am here to help so please get in touch via the 'Contact Denise' button or visit my website for more information.

Denise Little x

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