Getting to know yourself in isolation

How is lockdown going so far for you? A few weeks in and I guess we are all making significant changes to our daily lives and routines. Hopefully, you are being kind to yourself because change isn’t always that easy. The Amygdala part of our brains interprets change as a threat and as a result, we can start to feel anxious.

That being said, it’s important to remain adaptable, accessing our best selves to even try to make the most of life in lockdown. So how do we assess ourselves and our use of quality time?

Last week I talked about how stress and anxiety are lowered when we believe we have a degree of control over an outcome. The reason being that we take control of measuring and predicting an outcome, which of course we just cannot do with the virus or any other aspect of life we have no control over.

One of the stories I feel inspired to pass onto my clients in clinic is of John McCarthy. He was a British journalist kidnapped during the Lebanon Hostage crisis and released in 1991 after 1,943 days (over 5 years) in captivity. There’s an amazing Sky News interview with Terry Waite, the then British church envoy who on attempting to negotiate John’s release was himself kept hostage.

Terry talks about the situation creating a ‘unique opportunity to get to know himself better’. You can view the interview here.

So, could this be your opportunity to get to know yourself better? Could you use lockdown to learn more about yourself or your family or friends? Could you start a hobby within your environment? Have you decided any part of your new lockdown routine works better for you and you may even keep it up once lockdown is over?

TIP: Write down two things a night that you felt went well from the day

A good way to assess yourself and what drives you is to write down two things a night that you felt went well from the day, even if it hasn’t felt like a good day overall. This could be even the smallest of thoughts or acheivements.

And if you wake up in the morning and it feels like an overwhelmingly long day ahead, focus on the next 2 hours at a time. Remember Terry would urge you to think, ‘I’m not stuck at home, I’m safe at home‘.