Kidney Care UK counsellor Dee Durham has written a series of blogs about managing various aspects of dealing with the current lockdown situation whether you are experiencing it alone or with family. The first was about keeping it all together - while staying apart and we will be publishing a new blog from here at 3pm every Thursday for the next few weeks. This week is the first of two parts about dealing with social isolation alone, and next week will be the first part of Surviving family during isolation.
"Isolation. A harsh word that strikes at heart of many who live alone and struggle with loneliness. We all know why this lockdown is important. The logical side of our brain to process the reasons why, the risks involved if we mingle and the possible swamping of NHS resources that is behind the rationale of the Governments decision.
However, as humans we are not just our logic we’re much, much more. How can we cope with the long days and even longer nights when alone?
There’s plenty of advice to find yourself or examine your inner world, but just how do we do this? The main thinking behind most of this advice is to become more aware of ourselves.
Most of our thinking is predictable. We all have certain patterns of thought, moulded by our beliefs and values, life experiences and childhood influences.
You may, for example, find the new postman annoys you because he whistles every morning.
How about unpicking your own thoughts about this. Why does whistling bother you so much? is it the tone? the pitch? or something triggering a distant memory along with an emotion.
Just spending a little time picking your thoughts and where they originate can reveal a whole new you. Different thoughts trigger different emotions, maybe even different, forgotten memories.
How about thinking about your beliefs? What do you think makes you, you? We all need to be noticed and connect with others but what you believe about yourself influences all our relationships.
Are you a strong person? Do you like to help others in times of crisis?
Are you a doer? Ready on a practical level to help others. Or do you feel you need to be nurtured, supported during this time. This is not an exercise in criticising yourself, nor bigging yourself up. Just taking some time to look little more closely at yourself and what makes you tick. Perhaps beginning your own voyage of discovery."
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