It is 4.24am and the glare of my phone screen probably isn’t helping me sleep. The fan whirrs as the morning light peeps through the curtains. I am wide awake. For the past 2 months I’ve been taking anti-depressants, which lifts the levels of serotonin (a happy hormone) and which, at this very moment, lights up my brain like a moonlit snow globe.
It’s no secret that I am a worry warrior. The intensity of irrational fears can brew from; an unexpected helicopter, thunder or reading too much about Iran. I am completely aware that my fears are irrational, but my body reacts in a hypersensitive way to a given trigger. I am told that this is consequence of the lack of stability I experienced as a child. Feeling uncertain is ingrained in me.
My coping mechanism is to want to control the situation. So, I find myself checking Coronavirus statistics four times a day and BBC news even more so. Feeding the anticipation nerves.
A week before lockdown was announced I experienced a major blip. One day I was in the classroom, high energy and connected. The next morning, I did not raise from bed for three weeks. My brain had snapped. I shut myself off from the rest of the world like a hermit. Small tasks seemed humongous. Zero motivation, zero purpose. It was all too much.
I am not alone in this thought, this pandemic has terrorised the mental health of the planet through wild hysteria and uncertainty. For me, coupled with a pending job change and moving out of my apartment I most certainly fell off a cliff. It was as if my body had decided that it was time to stop. To take stock and to recharge my batteries. Goodnight Mr. G.
I believe the way to a sound mind is through the environments we create, both digitally and physically. If you’re not conscious of this, it can gnaw away at your mental health.
8 weeks in I am stronger than ever. Here’s why.
Combining the above aspects has benefited my mental state enormously. I’ve began to appreciate that no man is an island – we are all in this boat together.
Be present. Be grateful. Be kind.
Guest blog by: Sam Gardner, Inspire! Adult Learning Award winner 2016