Personal space is something we may have taken for granted before being ‘in lockdown’ with a loved one, or especially a whole family, and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may still have a long way to go before normal social interaction becomes a reality.

Some people are known to start laughing out loud when asked “What does your personal space look like right now?” If that laughter has a hysterical ring to it, perhaps you need to closely examine a few ways that you can deal with the stress of close personal interactions.

Serving the self serves others

We are, by nature, both social and sometimes intensely private beings. This is actually a healthy balance and probably what you most need to try to sustain and practice at this time.

Don’t ignore the importance of interacting with those around you and in fact if you’re a family person treasure this as a chance to possibly get closer than ever to loved ones. Explore each other’s likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams and enjoy the extra time you have to do it.

On the other hand, you really need to make some personal space as the lack of it can greatly exacerbate the stress you and those close to you may be feeling right now. Creating this private space should not be thought of as selfish either, as it will serve others too!

Stress management techniques

There are a few basic stress management techniques that can be followed at these times, and in fact at any time…

Live a healthy lifestyle

Stress, like many other things can be a result of poor dietary habits or substance abuse. Apart from the sensibility of simply eating well and putting the right things into your body, there are certain things that create a sense of calmness. Just one example is the wide range of soothing teas that can be sipped on throughout the day like chamomile tea – a great favourite. Avoid agitants like too much alcohol and caffeine.

Exercise on a regular basis is essential and in particular movements that induce a sense of calmness like Pilates and a series of exercises that release stress and trauma known as TRE. These can be practiced even in lockdown and, as we phase ourselves back to normality, long relaxing walks or jogs are good too. If possible, do these alone though, as it is one way to regain some personal space.

Be creative

One great way to create personal space is to have creative projects or hobbies. Gardening or painting, art, dance and playing or listening to any form of soothing music are also good examples.

Do whatever you feel can make you grow – like reading, studies, or do any form of self-improvement in whatever ‘me’ time you can manage. Feeling better about yourself is one of the best ways to build tolerance for others!

Centering techniques to neutralise anxiety

A great way to reduce anxiety in any kind of stressful situation is through breath control – taking long measured breaths to relax oneself. Another is to do meditation. Again focus on the breathing to clear the mind.

Another centering technique is visualisation. Particularly when many of us may be holed up in less than desirable surroundings, think about that special place you would like to be. Do this whilst meditating or when taking a long leisurely hot bath.

Nurturing the self is liberating

Self and more, through many body, mind and soul practices, assist you to relive stress and trauma. All these are available, without being compromised, or having any less value, online.

Contact me to learn more – I’m here for you, particularly in these extraordinary times when we are facing such unusual challenges. Whatever your personal space looks like right now, I can assist you to cope better and come out of this situation stronger than ever before – Take care of yourself – and especially – be safe!   

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