Our weekly wellbeing and mental health corner of the site – and we just wanted to have a chat about trying to get through the current situation in the world.

It’s fair to say that the world is in huge upheaval right now. Social norms are being stripped away, there is a great deal of fear and anxiety in our lives and there’s no clear end or solution to the pandemic that everyone is facing.

We’ve all had the instruction to stay home, stay safe and self isolate. For some, this will come easier than others. But for all, there will be an elemental of anxiety, of remoteness, potentially of fear that might threaten to overwhelm us.

Fear magnifies everything, all those little demons scheming at the back of your mind. It stabs it’s pitchfork in the hollows of your heart, putting your nightmares on replay both day and night. I’m probably not the only one finding sleep hard right now.

I’m going to be honest here – last week I didn’t cope very well. I had a 24-hour meltdown, when I fell into a panic spiral and was frankly an awful human being to be around. Many apologies issued later, I am in a calmer state this week. I am playing Taylor Swift’s You Need to Calm Down an awful lot!

It took one slight bump in the road to upset my apple cart. One tilt of the basket, and bruised apples were flying everywhere, along with thoughtless words. A few of those apples lay mushed on the road, ready to trip up anyone in my slipstream. I’m not proud.

But I’m also cutting myself some slack. I had to step back and look at what was twitching under my skin. I needed to air it. I just could have done it in a kinder, more constructive way. So next time my wheels buckle, I need to be more Taylor, and pick up all my apples before I open my mouth. Or maybe just emit a primal scream in the back yard and startle the pigeons.

The new normal is settling in. There are restrictions, shortages, no one in customers services right now to hear your pleas. Those that are there are overwhelmed. And that’s before we look to the absolute heroes of the emergency services. We need to be kind – to ourselves, to others; and to reach out to those who may be drowning in isolation, even if it is just a quick message or Skype chat.

Here at Film Stories, we are regular humans, reaching out to other regular humans. We’re saying it’s ok to be human right now, to admit our vulnerabilities, our fears. It’s ok to feel pissed that events you’ve looked forward to have been cancelled. It’s ok to feel grief for not being able to hug your family or celebrate significant events with them. It’s human.

Life is in a surreal state of limbo for every one of us at present, and problems which were bothering us a couple of months ago might now pale into insignificance. Some will not – this situation may make them more acute. If they do, reach out – to us below the line, to mental health professionals where you can (and need to).

This awful situation will not continue for ever. And when it ends, we will be able to hug our parents again. Be thankful for days that start with that chat with a barista. Hell, appreciate that barista all the more for their very existence. Thank the key workers who have stepped up tirelessly – and with their own fears and concerns – to care for us. Honour their request that we all stay home, and stay safe.

From us, to you, we send a huge virtual hug. Talk to us, give us silly stuff, give us serious stuff. Check in and let us know if you are ok, or if we can help you across the broadband.

Take very good care of yourselves.

Jane

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