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  • Writer's pictureAndy Foster

Lockdown, me, and my head

Like everyone else, the events of the last few months has been the most extraordinary period in my life. It has clearly impacted our way of life, but also our health and wellbeing (and I don't just mean the poor souls that have had to battle this virus). It feels like a lot of our community have taken advantage of this time to become more active, which of course helps our physical and mental health, but still there has been also a lot of mention about the impact this situation is having on our mental health.

As someone who does struggle with his mental health ( depression with a small dose of anxiety is my burden) I have noticed ups and downs that I have not experienced for a good while. I have been doing my best to keep my wellbeing tactics going (more about them in subsequent posts), but still I have had what I might describe as severe "crashes" where my depression has hit me very hard: knocking me out of action for a day or two.

I haven't experienced this severity in crashes for quite sometime, and it has led me to think: what is going on?

Increased Anxiety?

We are all worried about Covid-19 and what it means for us our health but also our livelihoods. I know that I am no exception. We know that anxiety sets off many processes in our bodies such as releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which initiate our fight or flight process; which although there to keep us safe and well; left untapped can interfere with the bodily processes which maintain our moods. It also increases inflammation to prepare us for injury, but which (according to the brilliant book "the Inflamed Mind" by Edward Bullmore) can help trigger depressive episodes.

So I have had to consider this as a real cause for me. Watching how a certain leader is behaving without constraint, or morals (you know who I am talking about); watching how others seem to be coping and thriving in my industry ( don't compare yourself to others!!! as Matt Haig says in his book Notes for a Nervous Planet); how certain individuals seem to flaunt the rules that have been set up for our safety. These are all things I can't control and have made me take the tactic (as much as I can) of self isolating from people but also the news and (certain) press conferences.

I have to say this has helped. This week I have felt much better, and it has made me think about how I use this tactic in addition to the others I employ. For example, I have even felt exercise having an added impetus this week. It's been very encouraging, and I have been much productive.

It's Mental Health Awareness Week next week so I will share how I use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing ( yes, one a day) to help my wellbeing.

I really hope this blog makes sense and helps others to feel well!

Stay safe everyone,


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