by Geordy Murphy MA CCC
Do I need to say anymore?
The difficulty it presents is far-reaching as I attempt at connecting with others from a social distancing model and with the presence of fear, anxiety, and isolation as indicators that you are “doing it for the greater good.”
I am not against being cautious and the reality that Covid-19 is a terrible and threatening disease; however, I think there are also some important considerations when we choose to focus on one threat and neglect all the others.
When we focus most of our energy on combating one threat, we leave ourselves vulnerable to others.
Let me explain a few things that I have noticed in the course of the few months I have been struggling.
Yesterday I decided to get a haircut for the first time in a while because I was complying with social distancing, nobody was allowed to get a haircut, and if my wife cut my hair, I may have chosen to self-isolate even more than now.
The Wealthy Barber or the Discouraged Barber?
As I sat in the chair getting a haircut, I asked my Barber whom I have been loyal to support and continue to go back to him,
“how have things been going for your guys, it must have been difficult being out of the space for a few months.” My Barber told me that “things are difficult and I am unsure if they will continue doing business in the space because I was charged full rent for 3 months equaling a total of $18000.”
I couldn’t help but empathize with my Barber and let him know that wherever they go, I will continue supporting them. He took my information down in case they have to move, and the likelihood that they will is quite high.
He shared with me that they are starting out now at minus $18000 and they still have bills to pay like mortgage and cars and children.
Again, when the energy is focused on one threat to our safety; it allowed the finances of my friend’s business to suffer. What will this do to the mental health of this individual, his family, and the economy?
In my pondering about this, my heart breaks for this individual who represents small businesses across our nation and it makes me question how I will start a business in the midst of massive companies that seem to inadvertently destroy the little guy. Lots of tangents I could go on here. 🙂
My question is that how much of this pandemic response needed a little more balance when it came to supporting small businesses? Was it a good call to shut down our economy, or was there a more balanced approach?
I am not offering a solution to this, but I believe this is a good analogy for the balance that we need in our own lives. I think that this is a great example of how we as humans may focus our energy on one threat that speaks so loudly to us, we lose out on the other threats that are just as important or more important to our well-being.
My wife is an RN and in my observation of how her job is right now, they have been cutting back on services in order to “be available for covid patients.” Meanwhile, people are not getting the homecare services that they need, and are going to have to reassess these patients again to “make sure they still need the service.” We know they need the service, and now they may be in worse shape than they started.
Is there a more balanced approach here?
As humans in families, we are trying to maintain homeostasis or balance
As humans in families, we are trying to maintain a homeostasis or balance in our lives that makes us feel comfortable, gets us in a continuous steady rhythm, and allows us to maintain habits whether good or bad. When this balance is thrown off, the whole system is often affected. Our nervous systems work to try to maintain this balance, but it is often thrown out of whack.
It’s like being on one of those scales in the doctor’s office where you have to balance the dials in order for the scale to register your weight. Each person’s balance may look a little bit different depending on how they weigh. Another aspect is that what you think is balance may actually be detrimental to your health and well-being.
Our Bodies work towards maintaining that balance
If we look at the whole system of our world, we can see that the whole homeostasis has been thrown off because we have chosen to focus all of our energy on fighting off the virus while neglecting other small subtle but important organs of the system. It’s the perfect analogy of what happens in our bodies and our minds when we don’t maintain a balanced life.
What is the rhythm you are in? How is it keeping you stuck in the same spiral? As creatures of habit, we can get used to this rhythm of living like a comforting quilt in the middle of an Edmonton freak May snowstorm.
So how do we rebuild and find the proper balance that is going to help you feel satisfied, and healthy emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually?
So What? Where do I start?
1. TAKE STOCK OF THE RHYTHM YOU ARE IN.
- This might mean sitting down and reflecting on the pattern. You can write out your observations about how you remained balanced. Ask questions of:
- How am I attempting to find balance?
- Where is my balance focused too much on a specific area, while neglecting some other area?
- Write out your balance on a values wheel or life balance wheel.
- Be real with yourself if it isn’t the balance you want
2. START WITH ONE SMALL CHANGE AND GRADUALLY INCREASE.
- What is one thing that you know you have done in the past that you may be able to reintroduce into your life?
- The best place to look for ideas is what has worked for you in the past.
- Ask yourself the question “What would I be doing differently if I was where I wanted to be in life.” And then try it out for a day.
- Don’t try and be a hero- start with small changes
3. OFFER SELF COMPASSION
- Be Proud of how you have been trying to maintain balance and appreciate the work you have been doing on yourself.
4. DON’T COMPARE WITH OTHERS
- Your Balance is going to look different for you so there is no one who is going to tell you how or what you need to do to maintain your balance and feel like your best you.
- This Is Why I am merely wanting to make you aware of this so you can do the work yourself.
Thank you for reading this far. I would love to chat more with you about this.
My vision at iMentalHealth is to have multiple disciplines under one roof in order to recognize the importance of the whole person, not just one aspect. Why is it that we are so far behind in places like Europe where their doctors are incorporating the importance of nutrition, exercise, and mental health on top of the medicine they are trained in?
Currently, I am offering online counseling for individuals dealing with multiple issues and would love to have a free consult with you. I am experienced in providing solution-focused, cognitive behavioral therapy and recently trained in EMDR to work with trauma. I also work with couples using a Gottman approach.
If you want to know more or want to connect with us just click here. Please feel free to send me a question or comment below. Also, feel free to fill out the contact us page for more information and a mailing list for great resources in the future. Have a great day.
Geordy @ imentalhealth.ca