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Stressed person
Tracey Fletcher | 1 April 2020

This is overwhelming! How do we take a break from all the noise?

Corona Virus: dry hands and talking in your sleep.

Right now, the world is experiencing something that none of us have ever been through before - some might say it is unprecedented. The Corona Virus has infected the world’s population, but it is also all over the news, newspapers, social media, and internet advertising. It has us locked down in our homes and has shut the doors of many businesses. It is literally everywhere and this can feel overwhelming for some – including me.

Over the weekend, it became clear to me that while I thought everything was all OK (one day at a time and all that), deep down, it was really playing on my mind. What happened at home was that my husband heard me talking in my sleep. This is something I do sometimes, usually brought on by over-tiredness and a bit of stress. In the conversation I was asking him where the cat was (she is very important to me!) and he replied that she was on the end of the bed. My next question was “Is she in our bubble?”, “Yes” he replied, and back to sleep I went, safe in the knowledge that everyone important to me was in my bubble. I don’t think I’d spoken out loud about our bubble, but there it was in my sleep-time musings…

As I sit here in my ‘home office’ (aka the dining room table), barefoot, my hands dry from excessive washing, and my work wardrobe untouched for the better part of a week, I’ve been reflecting on this and what action I can take to ease my anxiety, and turn the noise down on C-19.

Here is where I landed:

Take a break from media

It is easy to slip into the habit of needing to know all of the most up to date information. Whether it is watching the daily update from the Director General of Health, constantly checking your favourite news website, or scrolling through C-19 related memes on your social media. The amount of information going around is relentless, and it is coming at us from all directions!

Why not take a break from that for 24hrs, or even 48hrs if you can? If there is something that you MUST know, you will find out through loved ones or an extra-loud alert from the Prime Minister on your phone. Give your mind a break and let the calm wash over you as you read a light-hearted book instead. Just a day; you can get back to the memes tomorrow!

Take advantage

Many companies have come to the party in this unique situation to give customers extended access to services. Some that come to mind are:

- free Les Mills classes on TVNZ each day (and on TVNZ OnDemand)

- 90days of Fitbit premium free for current users. This includes workouts as well as relaxation and mindfulness programmes

- Live Nation have given access to musical and comedy content for free, all in one place, check it out here: https://www.livenation.com.au/loveoflive

These are opportunities to take a break from the noise and do something a little different! Perhaps get your family, friends, or co-workers involved as a way to stay connected.

Take time

We have been encouraged to be kind to others, but you also need to be kind to YOU!

Give yourself a break when it comes to how you are feeling and what you are doing during this craziness. Perhaps you have been maintaining your daily workout routine, and if so, that is awesome! But if you haven’t, that’s OK too. Just do what you can and try again tomorrow.

Perhaps your workload has dropped and you are feeling at a loose end during your work days. Or now with the kids home, you are distracted and feel like you’re not achieving much. This is normal. Why don’t you take the time to enjoy a little down time, do those work things you never usually have time for, or just ‘be’ in the moment with your family.

This is all so weird and we are all feeling anxious in our own way. If we can all be kind to ourselves and others, take a mental break from the noise, and see the opportunities when they arise, we will get through this - together!

Oh and moisturise your hands (after washing them of course!).