• Jessica Joan

Coping Amidst Coronavirus

As I sit here, enjoying my morning coffee and breakfast in bed, a thought pops into my head, “How many people have died today?” And the stark reality of what is currently going on in the world comes flooding back to me. Coronavirus. A worldwide pandemic. Isolation and quarantine.

With all of this going on, I feel so guilty for taking pleasure of my lie in, for my delicious hot coffee and breakfast in bed. I get upset with myself as my critic (aka my Inner Bitch) tells me that I’m so selfish for enjoying this time. It’s hard not to listen to her. And it’s hard not to believe her when she’s always piping up; telling me I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, I’m useless, I’m a failure. I tell myself that I shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy this time when there is so much pain and suffering going on due to this killer virus.

Then, from the depths of the back of my mind, another little voice appears telling me not to listen to her. This is my Inner Cheerleader, as Amy Rushworth calls her, coming to fight against the Inner Bitch. She’s kind and compassionate, she responds to situations and forgives me when I slip up. She reassures me that it’s ok to enjoy this moment; for these moments are what I am living for right now.

These past two weeks in isolation have made me realise how much time I spend in my head, only now I have the time to realise this. Usually I am on autopilot; wake up, work out, get showered, meditate, get dressed, drive to work, arrive at work, print resources, teach, break duty, teach, eat lunch, teach, home time, mark books, drive home, cook dinner, prep tomorrow’s lunch, clean up, watch tv, have a bath, go to bed. But now, we have stopped. And suddenly I have time, bloody loads of it! So, I’ve wrote myself a list of all the things I would like to do during this time, things that will make me happy when I’m feeling sad, things that will help me to feel calm when I’m overwhelmed with anxiety, things that excite me when I’m feeling down; things that will make my Inner Cheerleader be proud of me!

One thing I have learnt from this experience so far is that I need to be a lot kinder to myself! In the space of a week, we have had to change and adapt to a new way of living. I’ve always said that change is a good thing, and while it is for a negative reason, I’m channelling my Inner Cheerleader to look for the positive’s in this situation. It’s forced us to stay at home and spend time with our loved ones. It’s forced us to cook nutritious homemade meals. It’s forced us to slow down and go with the flow. It’s forced us to find things that truly give us joy. It’s forced us to look after our bodies. It’s forcing us to be grateful for what we have!

Therefore, I will enjoy my coffee and breakfast in bed because I am grateful. I am grateful that I have a house with a cosy bed. I am grateful that I have food and drink to nourish my body. I am grateful for my body and everything it does for me. I am grateful that I am ALIVE!

So, the next time you notice your Inner Bitch rearing her ugly head, try channelling your Inner Cheerleader and think of something you are grateful for right now.

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