Shifting the Covid Narrative

As most of you will know from reading my blog I have 3 Auto-Immune diseases, one of which has caused me to have a number of respiratory issues. When news of Covid-19 hitting our shores broke, I must be honest I was completely petrified as the risk if I got the virus was truly life threatening.

The impact of the disease on my business and personal life was catastrophic and pretty daunting to say the least. As I struggle with my chest over winter, with most winters resulting in hospital stays of up to 6 weeks at a time, I found myself becoming overwhelmed with Fear.

I then had to take a hard look at how I was going to survive not only Covid-19 but the fear and feeling of being overwhelmed.

In times of stress and anxiety my go to has always been to get out into the fresh air or to jump into the ocean or on my Standup Paddleboard and just take the time in Nature to allow my mind the space to think.

The first 2 weeks of our stage 5 lockdown I was in hospital as I had pneumonia. It was pretty horrendous and extremely taxing on the mind being completely isolated from my family and friends. In total I spent 4.5 weeks in hospital completely isolated for 3.5 of them. It was incredibly challenging for me. However as always I had incredible support from my tribe and got by on Zoom calls.

Coming home was a blessing but again pretty terrifying as I was now alone at home and isolated again as I am high risk. I don’t know that I have ever experienced such a deep sense of fear and loneliness. I am blessed to have an amazing support system and my family and friends all did drop offs of food and delivered Lattes and so much love to my door.

This time gave me space to reflect and deal with the last 18 months of trauma in my life and face it head on. I had been through 5 surgeries, a few resuscitations, a home robbery and the loss of my brother all during those 18 months. What a crazy time. I feel like the enforced lockdown made it impossible to block any emotions from these experiences out.

Having owned and run an event business for the last 21 years, lockdown and Covid-19 brought another challenge when it completely shut down the Event Industry. My brain went into complete WTF mode. I was scrambling for solutions and ways in which I could reinvent myself and see some kind of hope for the future.

What I did discover was that mental clarity and a focus on mental wellbeing over this time was key. I realised that unless I got up and out of my home and into fresh air and nature I was literally going to sink deeper into a depression. I had unfortunately come out of hospital and taken a bad fall down the stairs at my house and had broken the bone on the arch of my foot. It was extremely painful but I thought it was just sprained.

I decided to keep walking and even though I had to wrap up warm and make sure I was safe, I got up every morning at 6am and started walking. Fortunately the 5km from my house include, ocean, mountains and forests. I could only do the ocean options for the first 2 months as the forests were closed to exercise and so were the beaches.

I am busy working out what the path forward is and how I can reinvent myself and what great teachings I can take from this time of separation and isolation. I am focused on embracing a new way of being and truly being grateful for the abundance of blessings I have in my life. I am doing my best to support small businesses and people doing all they can to stay afloat financially.

I had to do things that I could control as so little was in my control. What I could control was getting up and exercising and ensuring I was getting the best possible nutrition and supplements to remain as healthy as possible over these times. I have found that my walks and connection with the beauty of where I live have helped me to find greater clarity and purpose.

I can’t say that I have all the answers and I can’t pretend there is not still fear and anxiety, but I can say that by focusing on my mental and physical wellbeing I am certainly coping much better.

I have managed to shed 24.5 kilograms and I have created the foundation to my crazy cookery series Gooi en Steek – Cooking Tips for Kitchen Warriors. I am focused on bringing this to life now and sharing my fun, healthy, easy recipes with folk around the world.

So today when you get up and start you day instead of plugging into the endless stats and fake news fear based reading, rather sit down and plan your life and your business first. As until you are calm and have order you will continue to spin out in chaos.

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