How to Stay Mentally Strong in Lockdown

Making the best use of your resources

As editor of the Human Givens Journal, I was recently sent a new book which claimed that we are living in the safest time in history. And then came COVID-19 ­­– not even on the horizon when the author penned those confident words.

It is a global reminder of how quickly the world can be turned upside down and that we never know what is ahead. So what we most need to learn is how to cope with uncertainty – a lesson that also holds good for the individual and personal challenges that we face at other times in our lives.

I have found it helpful over the years to remind clients who have become panicked or incapacitated by a particular circumstance that their situation is temporary and will reach an end. Sometimes that end is clearly demarcated. Vanessa was experiencing panic attacks every night when she got home from work. It turned out that she was putting together a major dance event, which meant working until about 11 p.m. every night, sorting out admin and logistics, plus directing rehearsals and dealing with dancers’ concerns. She wasn’t eating properly, nor getting proper exercise and certainly had no downtime. She was frightened that she wasn’t coping, and thus the panics.

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