No-one knows for sure how long humans have been keeping pets for but it is believed that it could be as early as 27,000 years ago. But why would we keep pets? Well personally, as a pet owner of 3 cats I feel that they provide a companionship that foster good mental health.
With lockdown making us feel isolated and detached from the world, now more than ever it is important to appreciate the nature around us.
The human brain is built to react to the negative, psychologists call this the ‘negative bias’. We react more strongly to the bad things we see than the good which can mean that it sometimes it feels like the world is just wholly bad. This isn’t the case though! Within this post, we’ll look at ways to take in and appreciate the beauty and positives of the world around us.
Today feels like day 5937 of lockdown, but in reality I’ve been isolating or in lockdown for the past six weeks. It feels longer because the first three of those were self-isolating, the first week because a friend was showing symptoms and the next two because my brother was.
Lockdown for many of us has been never-ending and above all boring. It has heightened anxieties and left us feeling a little stagnant. That is why I have created a little guide for mindfulness in order for us to get a little more motivated and feeling a whole lot more zen.
As I write this blog, I am currently in my fifth week of isolation. I, like all of us, am finding the strain of not being able to go out, see my family and friends, or go to work/ University very difficult to cope with. Adapting to such a dramatic and sudden change left me feeling completely disorientated and my mind was at the brink of spiralling into a state of total confusion, depression and feeling lost without the usual routine of life to keep me stable and focussed.
After the first week of lockdown I finally started to come-to, and my mind started catching up with everything that had been happening. I realised that I was losing control of myself and needed to make some changes to keep myself mentally healthy so that I could also keep myself physically healthy. When going through difficult periods in the past, I found the best way of maintaining control was to ensure that I had some structure to my days: simple things that help anchor you to reality, and keep you from getting lost in your own mind. In the second week of lockdown I started introducing routine elements to my life: I set a daily alarm, I went for a set walk each day and I started doing 3-4 hours of revision daily. After a couple of days of starting this new regime, I realised that I had started to feel better: I had more energy, I was happier, and I was feeling in complete control again.
I am now in my fourth week of living in my new routine, and I am still ensuring that I incorporate all the different elements into each day. I’m feeling even more in control, and I find that the structure I have incorporated into my life is ensuring my mental well-being in these uncertain times. I also find myself grateful that I live in the age of the internet and video calling. Even though I can’t be with those I care most about in person at least I can see and talk to them via a webcam. My regular conversations with my family and friends is what keeps me laughing when there often doesn’t seem much to laugh about, and keeps me hopeful of the better times to come when we can all be together again.
If you’re feeling a little low, lonely or anxious the student support services offer a friendly, non-judgmental and confidential service. whether you think your problem is big or small they would love to help figure things out and talk things through. Usually their drop-ins are in Augustine House Monday to Friday : 10:30am-4:30pm. But, they are also accessible through email and phone 🌿🍄
If you are self-isolating and needing support you can call 01227 922675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice.
Over the next few weeks may of us will be self-isolating and avoiding public spaces. Although this essential to reduce the coronvirus spreading, it can have a negative impact on our health in other ways such as fitness and mental wellbeing.