No matter who you are, the last few months has put all of us under an undue amount of pressure.

Wondering where your next meal will come from, whether your business will survive, how you will make the payment on your house, your car or for your children’s education, places us in a state of continuous anxiety which is not only unnatural but also unhealthy.

Weeks before the lockdown started, we smiled at the few random individuals walking around with a mask. Do you still remember the memes of people with plastic bags over their heads or an improvised mask made from cooldrink bottles? Boy, did we have a good laugh!

And how has it not changed? Nowadays a simple visit to the shop is filled with anxiety and fear. We scowl at those not wearing a mask and very seldom do we now smile behind our own masks. No, we are focused on getting on with the task at hand. Concentrating on not touching any unsafe surfaces and ensuring social distancing from those around us. Everyone else has become suspicious: Who have you been in contact with? Do you have a fever? Was that a cough or were you just clearing your throat? These have become our default settings when meeting other people outside the safety of our own home.

The result of this is that we have become anxious, fearful, angry, sad, and frustrated. Simply look at your social media feed and you will find that even the most innocuous remark can elicit a tirade of negative comments.

The experts tell us that the first step in breaking this cycle is for us to recognise and admit our feelings. Making what we feel known to those around us. This, together with mindfulness will allow us to work out how we can handle the situation with grace, kindness, and compassion.

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