After another 3 weeks of lockdown being announced yesterday anxiety levels certainly seem to be heightening.
It is very important at this time to stay CONNECTED.
Connecting is always very important for your mental wellbeing and has probably never been so important as it is now.
Connecting gives us a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, a feeling of inclusion and self -worth.
When we connect it stimulates a hormone called Oxytocin.
‘Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It's sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.’
A lot of research is currently being undertaking looking at the role of oxytocin in addiction, brain injury, anorexia and stress, among other topics
More recently, oxytocin has been suggested to be an important player in social behaviour.
It has been suggested that the more people CONNECT the more Oxytocin can be produced and the better we feel about ourselves and others.
CONNECTING does not always mean you have to cuddle, though if you can do this safely, please do!
CONNECTING can be done in the form of chatting with FRIENDS and FAMILY on the many social platforms currently available, houseparty, zoom, facetime.
CONNECTING with our animals, who love us unconditionally and offer us so much love and support.
CONNECTING with NATURE - nature is an amazing medicine for the anxious mind, and this is actually backed up by scientific research.
CONNECTING with the Community and local area.
CONNECTING with OURSELVES and our inner calm – meditate, mindfulness or simply read a book, draw, knit, do a jigsaw puzzle.
My favourite way to re-connect with myself is to listen to a WELLBEING PODCAST
I know I go on about them all the time, but they honestly make me feel sooo much better.
The ones I listen to make me realise, I am not alone in my anxiety/low mood and how they make me feel. That I am not silly for feeling that way and in fact most of us in some way suffer with some type of anxiety, phobia, low mood or obsession.
I LOVE hearing in simple terms, how the mind and body work, how there are simple solutions to easing how we are feeling if we look for them, and more importantly try them ( I will do another post on this as I am going off on a tangent!). It really really uplifts me!
I really do appreciate that sometimes this does not feel that simple and sometimes we just do not know where to start.
The main ones I chose to listen to and could be a suggestion (and these are purely suggestions as we are all different) are:
a) DR RANGAN CHATTERJEE – for those who have not heard of him, he is a GP who has also written a few books including ‘The 4 Pillar Plan’ and ‘Feel better in 5’ which are also great books and I will be talking about them more too.
His podcast is available and is called ‘FEEL BETTER, LIVE MORE’ and all of the sessions are interviews with people who specialise or have lived through and experienced what the title of that particular podcast is about. There are 108 podcasts to date and I am working my way through them.
Find the title that appeals to you the most and listen to it on a walk or in the garden or whilst you are ironing!
#89 is called ‘ Why Connection is the most important aspect of health’ and could be a great place to start.
b) HAPPY PLACE – FEARNE COTTON – again another great listen with some fantastic interviews. Listening to Fearne being honest and open about her battle with her mental health, I find is refreshing. Mental Health, anxiety, low mood, it takes no prisoners, regardless of who you are, and more importantly it takes more people than we think or believe, and therefore WE ARE NOT ALONE in this and this gives us a CONNECTION.
I want to say from the absolute bottom of my heart, that I am here for ANYONE who needs to talk. I am happy do this via facetime, phone chat, email, messenger
Like I have always said I am no expert but have lived through it and therefore will probably always have to control it, so I can very much speak and listen from the heart.
The Southwell Wellbeing Mental Wellbeing team are also on hand to offer professional advice and are really very happy to have a chat with anyone who is suffering. It does not have to be that you are interested in having their treatments, they are just happy to talk and help you through.
PLEASE DO REACH OUT TO US IF YOU NEED US.