A time for Unity - not for Conflict. The never-ending virus issue looks like sweeping forward in some form or other well into next year, if not beyond. The endless debate over whether the government has done a good job, whether we should wear masks, which drug we should use does little to help us navigate our day to day life with sanity.
There are deeper questions we should be asking ourselves. Senior scientists point out that several pandemics have occurred over recent years, and only last week there was a scare that yet another one was starting - over pigs in China (yet again). We have to ask why such new diseases are occurring with greater frequency and intensity. One school of thought is that because these events always occur when something passes over from the animal kingdom to the human world, and it's happening more because we are eating more meat and animal products - perhaps we should give consideration to cutting down.
However it occurs, we are where we are, and, in my humble opinion, we should try to protect ourselves, our family and others in any way we can, but respect others and their beliefs. Be understanding, be kind, but be safe.
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Losing a close friend or family member is a subject which many people do not like to talk about. Maybe because it's very painful for them, or maybe because it's a subject which many feel should not be discussed - it's unlucky, or a forbidden subject.
Losing a loved one, especially a parent will usually not happen to us until we are older ourselves, unless we are very unlucky. It is impossible for anyone who hasn't known the death of someone close to understand. They will sympathize, but they cannot know how the pain and despair of the loss affects those left behind. For most of the shock of the loss does not set in straight away, it may take days, or weeks, or even months, but at some time it will hit us. The empty hole, the realization that the world is not the same, and it never will be again.
Many books have been written about coping with grief - however you try to cope there are certain things you have to realize. The first is that you cannot rush it or force it. It will take time - how much time will vary. The support and love of friends and other relatives can ease the pain, but the feelings of loss and emptiness never fully disappear, nor should they. During their lifetime they were a big part of your life - that will be with you for the rest of your days.
Positivity and general mental health can be directly linked to getting the right amount of quality sleep and starting the day in a positive way. In these time of lockdown and social distancing this can be difficult as we seek to navigate our way through life living by new and different rules and restrictions. Stress levels and negative emotions can rise to the top when we are unable to meet our friends and family or have a coffee in a cafe. Quality deep and long term sleep has been proven to assist general well-being and positivity.
What are the ways we can ensure a good nights sleep?
Firstly we should not eat in the two hours before we go to bed, and bed should be a quiet and relaxing experience - no tv, no phone, no distractions, except it may be relaxing to read a book for a while before settling down. Sometimes it can be difficult to clear our minds of the cares of the day, and this can keep us awake. At these times it's helpful to think of pleasant memories of friends and family, don't think of immediate problems, but past pleasures. After a while, and some practice, it is possible to clear your mind and drift off to a deeper and more relaxing sleep. Going to sleep early is also important - getting a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night will let you wake happy with more strength and determination.
Getting into pleasant repetitive actions to stay positive will also pay off.
Before you go to bed, make a list of the positive things that have happened during the day - it will help you to remember them when you are trying to sleep. When you do wake, make a list of the positive things you will do, and the things that make you happy - achievements, meetings, conversations - and list all the things you will accomplish during the day. These things will enable you to lead a calmer and more productive life. It will take a while to get used to, so don't try to do everything at once.
Good luck - let me know how you get on.