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We all experience changes in our daily lives some changes in our routines are planned while others are not.  The main challenge for people today is the mere fact that our lives have changed in ways we could have never imagined. Our ability to do spontaneous activities like meet up with our friends on a social night out seems to be a distant memory. Also, our freedom to hop on a plane to get away from it all is scuppered by the ever-changing quarantine rules.

In today’s world, our decisions based on spontaneous actions seem to have been archived to a pre-lockdown era. Currently, our daily routine decisions are based on government guidelines and NPHET rules.  For me, this is what I struggle with daily because making decisions for ourselves whether good or bad, spontaneous or routine is good for our mental health.  The feel-good factor of being in control of our daily routine and feeding our impulsive self puts us in charge of change.

Making decisions on our daily routines gives us a sense of autonomy and a feeling of being in control of change.   When things change for the better we find ourselves questioning is it true, do I deserve it, or we simply don’t believe it.  However, when some changes have a negative impact on our lives we run down a rabbit hole and look for alternatives before something happens.

I find myself locked into a routine of mundane existence living in the virtual world of zoom meetings and phone calls.  In the past when I struggled with my mental health I would use coping skills and tools to get me back on track.  In dealing with change in the past, I would always rely on my inner mantra of one door closes and another one opens.  However, in the lockdown era, the opening of another door is firmly shut by restrictions because what I would have done in the past is not presently an option.  The supports I need are currently not available or only available on a virtual platform whether it be medical or peer support.  The very same platform is seriously testing my ability to manage my mental health recovery.

However, over time I have learned to sit with the change which is imposed on me and reflect on my personal values.  For me, whatever lockdown rules are imposed and what we can or can’t do in society will never interfere with my personal values.  We all hold personal values that are so intrinsically liked to who we are and helps to motivate us to get through challenging times.  Our personal values can give us a reason to keep going while sitting with uncomfortable changes in our lives and can give us hope, and a sense of connectivity to our inner self.  Furthermore, I try to reflect on the positive changes in my life, rather than the negative, and accept for now some changes are out of my control.

If you find changes is overwhelming in your life you don’t have to deal with them alone.  Friends, family, and support groups are available but you have to reach out which can be difficult but you don’t have to suffer.  Remember you are not alone and no one likes changes that have a negative impact on their lives but remember as Heraclitus said “The only constant in life is change” and change affects us all, and we each deal with it differently.

Take care and keep safe, David

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