Self-Survival Guide During Coronavirus Outbreak

Self-Survival takes different forms!

Scary times my friends, to put it mildly. Am I the only one who is thinking this is all surreal and we will wake up tomorrow thinking it was all a dream/nightmare?

I am a self-employed massage therapist and wellness coach and I have chosen to temporarily close my business as the safety of my clients and my family is paramount.

Ok, financially I have no idea how I will survive - I still have to pay the rent on my therapy room, pay my bills, eat etc but I am in a better position than a lot of people. I do not want to enter into a political debate but I do feel a bit left out, there is 'help' promised for small businesses but how/when can you access it? I am not eligible for Universal Credit, I am eligible for my business rates to be suspended.....but I don't pay any because my business premises is so small - lucky me! I waited 47 minutes on a help-line before I gave up and it might sound flaky by I am a little anxious in myself.

I am finding it difficult to concentrate; I keep looking for online updates, checking social media and basically being a dick!

Normally, the prospect of not going to work and having endless time off would fill me with joy!

Let's put on my Wellness Coach hat for a moment:-

Think of all the unfinished projects I can re-start, the books I can read, courses I can take, craft items I can finish - instead what have I achieved in the four days I have had off? Bugger all!! I have washed all the paintwork downstairs and cleaned the bathrooms - hallelujah! Next on the list is the paintwork upstairs, the windows and perhaps repaint aforementioned paintwork.

You may remember I started a diet, well that has gone out of the window;

  • when I'm happy - I eat

  • when I'm sad - I eat

  • when I am bored - I eat

  • when I am anxious - I eat.....guess what I'm doing??? Yay, pass the crisps.

I KNOW what to do/not do but am having a real problem putting things into action, I am stuck and need a good kick up the backside!

Having started on this blog post (which I was going to daily from Day One) I do feel a bit more motivated (gasp) actually writing down how I am feeling makes me see what could help.

A plan then my friends:

- Stop constantly checking my phone for updates - nothing will be achieved. I am going to watch the PM's daily updates, digest what has been said and action anything that relates to my situation. Everything else that is being covered I will inwardly digest and then put to one side. I shall do this with a glass of wine and a bowl, just a small bowl, of crisps. It will be an event - rock and roll!

- I will establish a routine, I have no idea how long I will be out of work but a routine will help:

6.15 am wake up, walk the dogs, return and feed the dogs (and fish)

7.30 am yoga - please please please if you want to start your own yoga routine and not sure where to start, try Yoga with Adriene on YouTube - she is out of this world. She is not some 19 year-old with long blonde hair on a beach in Bali contorting her gloriously lithe body into pretzel shapes that you will never achieve, no, she is a wonderful human being who takes you at your speed/level through grounding, doable yoga.

8.15 am breakfast - a nutritious, immune-boosting breakfast, ticking off as many of Dr Greger's Daily Dozen as possible - eating like a king!

9 am Tackle one of the items of spring cleaning that I have put onto a list (lie). By tackling just one it makes it achievable and when I get to cross it off the (imaginary, but I advise to do one) list, I will feel good.

11 am Coffee, obvs, along with 30 mins max to catch up on social media, answering any emails; setting an alarm as I can't trust yourself not to stay longer.

11.30 am think of what I am going to have for lunch/supper/snacks - very important! I have a weekly organic veg box from Riverford Organics at the moment (until the money runs out) and I do like to try not to use any ready meals and cook everything from scratch (except crisps) so some time spent researching some new recipes and then whipping them up is time well spent - even though I loathe cooking - but I love eating, so it is a compromise I have to make.

2 pm by now I will have eaten, washed up and feeling lethargic so I am going to tackle daily the long list of online courses I have started but never completed. Each day I will do a different assignment and by the end of this I will be able to add

  • Vegan Nutritionist Diploma

  • Psychology of Overeating Diploma

  • Level 5 Nutritional Advisor

  • Acupressure Points Diploma

  • Ayurvedic Advisor Diploma

  • Foraging Diploma

  • Advanced Nutrition for Weight Loss Diploma

to my portfolio - hmm looks like I'd better get started!

5 pm grab that wine and crisps and watch PM's update

6 pm supper

Roast Red Peppers with Garlic and Tomato

7 pm pick up one of my unfinished crochet projects (there are many) and either listen to an AudioBook (crafty way of exploring all those books you've wanted to read whilst doing something else) or cram in a box set.

8.30 pm a little bit of meditation/breathing exercises. Studies show that breathing exercises can actually improve cognitive function, encourage positive thought processes, and reduce symptoms of anxiety - perfect.

9 pm Lights out - I have always been an early to bed kind of person.

The above is not set in stone but it gives me a sort of anchor, something that I can keep to, to stop my mind wandering and wasting time.

There are many ways we can help ourselves get through this time of potential stress:

  • Have a digital clearout - delete all the emails you don't need, unsubscribe to websites you really are not interested in, clear out your inbox.

  • Have a wardrobe clearout - are you honestly ever going to wear that dress that doesn't fit you anymore? Fill a bag with unloved clothes and take them to the charity shop - someone will love them.

  • Keep active, factor in a walk outside every day to get some fresh air and sunshine (hopeful?)

  • Learn that instrument you've always wanted to learn, learn a new language - there are plenty of free online resources. Paint, sew, mend, write that book you have in your head, create!

  • Relax - allow yourself some time for you - a long bubble bath with Michael Buble (well, a recording of him at least), meditate, do yoga.

Keep connected with people and check on neighbours and family - everyone will be having their own issues to deal with.

Some good things will emerge from the darkness - community spirit and an improvement in pollution levels for starters - stay safe everyone xx