How to beat the COVID-19 blues by using our senses

Sight

Let me ask you a question. What would you do if suddenly you couldn’t see?  Fear, panic, loss of control, why me? – These would all be natural feelings for you to experience.

But what if I said. Be grateful; for the eyes that you can see. I think, and I say this from personal experience, is that perhaps sometimes we take a lot of what goes on in our world for granted and our senses are no exception.

So take a minute and close your eyes. Breathe deeply, and imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t see. Pretty scary. I know that’s how I felt but as I kept trying to control what I was thinking a thought popped into my head from my daily yoga practice – breathe deeply and let go.

Letting go of whatever is happening in your life is hard. It took me years of yoga to understand what that actually meant and it is a constant reminder that maybe when we can’t control what’s happening in the outside world we can if we turn our attention inwards. You may be surprised at what amazing things can happen to you.

With the uncertain times we are living in right now we may not be able to control what’s  happening in the world but we can control our thoughts and feelings.

That’s where meditation comes in. Like many people at first, I struggled to meditate. My mind was always off somewhere else thinking about all the things I planned to do in the future. But with repetition it became easier and the benefits are amazing. It relaxes the central nervous system and reduces any anxiety you may be feeling.

Start by simply closing your eyes and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Open your eyes and see how you feel.

It’s about appreciating that we have our eyes to see and be grateful for just that. Just take a moment and focus on the present – the best is yet to come!

Touch

Often when we’re feeling blue all we want is a big hug and with people self-isolating and being prevented from meeting family and friends this places a great strain on our need for human contact.

Pets are a great therapy. If you have a dog or a cat you’ll appreciate how good it feels to have a cuddle – it increases endorphins in the body and you instantly feel happier and more content.

Keeping in touch with friends and family by Zoom or Facetime and on other apps has been critical for filling our need for human contact and interaction – I know it was a godsend for me particularly during full lockdown earlier this year.

So why not get in touch with someone you haven’t spoken to for a long time and see how they are doing? It’s great to make someone’s day when they get a call out of the blue and know you are thinking about them.

We are tactile creatures so even wrapping yourself in a fluffy blanket and snuggling up on the sofa to watch a funny movie on a grey, rainy day can lift your spirits and make you feel good.

If you haven’t used essential oils before try sesame oil with a few drops of lavender and rose to massage into your skin and hair to smell and feel amazing.

Hearing

Ever noticed when you hear your favourite song on the radio you immediately start singing and feeling great?

Listening to music is a fantastic way to change your mood instantly. And better still why not do a little dance and get that heartbeat up!

Do you hear what people say or do you really listen to them? It’s important right now to support and care for each other and to take the time to really listen to what they are saying even if you don’t agree with them. Having a support network of people who can encourage, uplift and be there for you is so important so perhaps think of ways to grow your circle and spread that positive magic dust around.

Listen to what’s happening in the world to be informed but don’t dwell on the negative all the time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom scenario. Stay focused on what’s positive and think of things to be grateful for.

Why not write down 10 things you are grateful for each morning after you wake up – it’s a great way to start the day on a positive note and it’s part of my daily ritual and makes me feel fantastic.

Taste

How many of you have tried different recipes during lockdown? It was a lot of fun cooking and baking, something I hadn’t done for years, and also sharing cakes and treats with friends. Wasn’t it fun creating new dishes and savouring the mixture of mouth-watering smells coming for the kitchen?

And while it’s tempting to eat comfort food which tastes  great, eating too much of it may not be good for you or your overall health & wellbeing.

Smell

Smell evokes memories. For instance, when you smell a certain flower or herb you can be transported back in time to your childhood. How many times has a smell wafted past you and you think “I remember when”?

Smells are closely linked with emotions. Think about the perfume industry – the different fragrancies designed to touch emotions like desire, power and relaxation.

Burning scented candles or using an oil diffuser is a great way to lift your mood and help you relax and find serenity. I always burn scented candles when I am writing as it gives me inspiration and a calmness to come up with new ideas and I love the smell!

A few drops of lavender oil in the bath is fantastic for relaxing and unwinding body, mind and soul.

While we are all encouraged to use hand sanitiser as frequently as possible you may find that your hands are becoming quite dry.

Get herby with our Shambhala antiseptic hand sanitiser which smells wonderful and is kind to your skin. Check out our monthly newsletter for more information on the wonders of essential oils which can relax or uplift depending on your mood.