As we enter this period of uncertainty, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you. Aside from contracting coronavirus, probably the greatest source of anxiety is the uncertainty we're living in. Not knowing how long this will last or what the future holds is scary.
I was looking through my previous newsletters and came across one from just after my wife and I lost a couple of our parents. I hope these points are relevant and helpful to you.
(This is serotonin - it's apt that it looks like a wonky smile...)
· Be grateful for the things you take for granted; be explicit about it. The sounds of nature, the unconditional love of your family, music or just the comfort knowing that you have the ability to start again.
· Never stop being generous with your time and energy; even if you’re finding things tough, by helping others you are able to contextualise but also still feel useful and of value.
· Don’t lock yourself away (amended!). Use technology; stay virtually connected. Hearing about other people's lives and sharing their challenges can be very energising. Too often, we isolate ourselves when it all hits the fan!
· Make sure you connect with the most optimistic people you know. Speak to them and absorb their energy. Don’t slip into the trap of resenting people who appear to be going through a better time than you.
· Remember that there are some people who feed off your struggles; it perversely makes them feel better. Don’t let them feed or even exacerbate your problems; avoid the 'told you so' brigade (especially on social media).
· Make sure you don’t let your angst make you hateful. It is so easy when you feel down, to project blame onto others and grow negative energy or even jealousy. Be at your most forgiving and tolerant when times are tough.
· Trust your chemicals and your radiant smile. Smiling, even a forced smile, has proven health benefits. It encourages the production of serotonin; the hormone that contributes to a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
Be kind to each other.