Create your own armour for these challenging times

Covid-19 is taking a toll on our mental health. Martina Gallivan recommends ways to find resilience and say ‘not today.’

There was a wonderful news report featuring Nancy Stewart, the no nonsense full of life, 107-year-old from County Meath.

Her positive attitude was a rare joy. Her spirit resonated with me and listening to her letter of hope it became clear that many of us really have forgotten to savor the simpler things in life.

“Today make a commitment that you are going into battle. And in order to do so you’re going to create your own personal armour by writing down and setting out your own personal structure”

Listening to Nancy I was completely struck by her own internal spirit. There appears to be a raw energy within her that many of us are missing.

Now, more than ever, we find ourselves in a vulnerable position with Covid. Everywhere we turn there is a palpable sense of despair and likelihood of the people we love losing hope.

Covid is taking its toll on mental health

This week alone I have dealt with a number of clients who have simply broken down in clinic unable to cope. They cite Covid restrictions as the principal culprit for their upset. And yes, of course, our health must be of paramount importance. But the fact is some people are finding these times quite difficult and struggling with their mental health.

Is there a way to solve this? I’m not a psychologist but the first thing I would suggest is to begin to change the way we all are thinking. Change the direction, so to speak.

Imagine you awake tomorrow morning and are feeling dreadful. It’s yet another lockdown and the impression of being trapped is unbearable. You are extremely tempted to just stay under the covers and give in to this wretchedness.

You see, without realising it each of us are infiltrated daily by an unrelenting wave of auto suggestive messages. This influences our mood, frustrations, fears, personal success, appearance, status and ultimately our health. And the opinion that we have of ourselves is continuously being orchestrated and attacked by a series of manipulators and those who have the power to influence us whether that be through the news, social media, or targeted advertising.

And this infiltration is indiscriminate. We might be strong, influential, wealthy or optimistic, but ultimately, we’re all capable of succumbing to those subtle powers of persuasion.

Not today

After all it’s easier to give in than to fight isn’t it? But not today. Today make a commitment that you are going into battle. And in order to do so you’re going to create your own personal armour by writing down and setting out your own personal structure.

Firstly, write down the number of times you find yourself listening to the radio, log on to social media, watch the TV, read newspapers or look at your watch. Then try to implement a complete one-day ban – maybe a weekend to start with – of all electronic devices and applications that broadcast or transmit information. Stop being inundated with their message, listen to what you want. 99 per cent of the people we see and hear about in global media don’t know us or indeed care about us.

Take a few minutes every day to be grateful. By being grateful for what you have now is the first step in aligning yourself with universal flow and positive love, and also helps to build a layer of strength giving you energy for this Battle.

Get outside. Even if it’s for 30 minutes, get out and away from your home, family or work. Walk, run, cycle, swim. There’s no such thing as bad weather – just poor equipment. There should be no excuses. Being outside gives perspective and clears the mind helping you to better resolve problems and increase Serotonin levels, which in turn will lift your mood.

Eat well. Don’t be tempted to comfort eat. This will be of no service to you and you will likely create another problem for yourself by gaining weight and feeling depressed in the process. We all have enough problems without adding more in our lives, not to mention making food companies wealthier.

Have goals and rest your brain

What is your ultimate goal? Write down the top 5 things you would like to have in your life right now. Maybe it’s a relationship, better health, a family, a new job, a better lifestyle, a new home or new car. Whatever it is no matter how unbelievable it may appear to have right now – imagine it! Begin to create your own movie. If it’s a house for example picture yourself in it walking around and the happiness it could bring.

Irrespective of the goal, imagine how you FEEL. Don’t ask how this will come about, just picture the end result. Play your own private movie in your mind every day.

Your brain is like a motorway intersection at rush hour. All of our obligations, worries, desires, fears and responsibilities are continually clogging up our conscious minds. If we’re asking the universe for an answer to a problem, you’ll probably discover that the answer cannot get through due to the sheer level of noise.

Rest your brain. Each day spend time to be quiet. This way you can stand back and observe and strategically choose where you should go to next, how far to get involved and crucially clarify your objective. Soon enough your individual mental armour will build and you will emerge a greater master of your own personal fate.

Martina Gallivan is a nutritionist and director of RK Cardiology Healthy Living Ltd. If you are interested in learning more about health and lifestyle medicine for you or your family contact her at martina@roseville.ie or follow @drrobertkelly