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The Druid Way

Positive Effects of Lockdown on Mental Health

May 5th, 2020
Much publicity has been given to the negative mental health effects of the lockdown. An online search for ‘positive mental health effects’ yields nothing.
On a weekly live FB broadcast Tea with a Druid yesterday, I asked if anyone was experiencing positive effects, and was surprised by how many people were finding it helpful. Amongst many talking about enjoying the reduced stress of not working and spending more time appreciating nature, two people said they had stopped taking their anti-depressants. A tiny sample, of course, but I wonder how that translates worldwide?
Have you experienced any positive effects of this current situation on your mental health?
NB The Home Meditation Retreat I mention is The Garden of Flowing in Perpetual Happiness.

11 Responses to “Positive Effects of Lockdown on Mental Health”

  1. Hi Philip, we definitely experience positive mental health effects. We are still working from home, as both Dane and I have jobs that allow us to work on a pc from home. However, the reduce in stress is significant. We do not have to commute to work, which saves time, and makes every morning so much more agreable :-). Although we have fewer social contacts in real life, we stay in touch through social media. Not so easy to hug people for real and that we miss a lot.
    However, one of the greatest benefits of this lockdown is the fact that our connection to nature has been so much more enhanced. It is the first time in years that we have seen the spring awakening of nature so intensely, from day to day, we have developed the habit of a daily walk in nature. It is amazing to feel the aliveness of nature, and to feel it mirrored in oneself. And how lovely it is to be able to walk around and not hear cars, we live in a densely populated area and there is hardly a spot in nature left that is void of human made sounds like cars etc. That is also one of the benefits of this lockdown, less traffic, less pollution and for sensitive people like us that is a blessing.

    It will be nice to go out again and visit family and friends, but the slowing down of life has greatly contributed to our peace of mind.
    We would love to see the ratrace of society slowed down in the future, and we hope we can maintain our sense of peace.

    • Hi Danny, yes I think what you are experiencing is exactly what many of us feel. This Spring has been so intense, as you say. And Stephanie and I have started daily walks which have become a joyful part of each day. And in fact all our friends seem to have taken up this habit too. Let’s hope that this crisis will have a ‘silver lining’ that will mean less stress for many. The ratrace was leading humanity to turn into lemmings (to mix animal metaphors) rushing towards annihilation! Let’s hope and pray for a more peaceful future!

  2. Thank you for asking 🙂
    Initially I became ill and that became the centre of my universe, as symptoms abated I felt restless, helpless, scared, anxious about work about family I couldn’t be with, and gradually this has flowed into ease, enjoyment, relaxation, doing what I want to do, or not, not feeling guilty for saying no to others, I much prefer a description I heard recently of this time not “the lockdown” but “the cocooning” that straight away makes me feel more positive about it.
    I find myself wondering now though, how reintegration will be managed, and as a massage therapist, I wonder if that 6 foot barrier will be difficult to dismantle.
    In the communities I hang out in, there is so much positivity and hope for a different future. I saw a news bulletin the other week though, about drive through macdonalds opening again in France and people in cars queuing for 3 hours for their beloved burgers!
    Maybe the change will not be as obvious or come as quickly as we hope,
    But I have been thankful for this pause, not quiet 40 days in the desert, but something akin to it.

    • Oh I really like that Carol! 🙂 Cocooning is a much better term!

  3. I feel guilty as my husband works in retail and is exhausted and working long days.
    I am really enjoying my garden, the magicians club. I Have had time to not only complete tarot course but really engage with my Druid Gwersi. I have signed up for lessons in magic, I am busy With my spiritual ‘stuff’ for a change and loving every minute of my ‘retreat’
    Please don’t stop TWD, it is a moment of joy on a Wednesday morning ,
    Many blessings to all of the OBOD team,

    • Thank you Jackie! I plan to keep going with Tea with a Druid, but might take a few weeks (or perhaps a month) off here and there, with guest hosts taking over! Blessings!

  4. I have been working C25K program in our state park which has been open daily and free to the public as well as left a toxic job situation. Lockdown has been very beneficial for me and my marriage. Our cats and dog have loved it, too.

  5. Greetings Philip. So interesting that you mention the Brain. I listened to a Surat Shabd Yoga talk yesterday, entitled, “It’s a NO Brainer.” The Teacher emphasized the need to take Time to Stop thinking/using the Brain (which can take us into being too busy; running around, trying to figure things out, thinking about things that make us stressed, confused, etc), & just Listen to the Spirit (where the Truth lies). She advised more meditation. “Simplify” is often mentioned in her talks/retreats, which the “Global Retreat’ has now required. Being of ‘Service.’ is also a repeated topic.

    In another talk, she advised Humor, to bring us into the realm of Joyful Spirit. She discussed the behavior of people being so frenzied about the lack of toilet Paper, they have actually been hoarding it. Many stores around the US, have been ‘out’ for months because some bought it all. A few stores began rationing it out. It shows the Great need/desire to take care of waste, & the Fear of Not being able to. Perhaps it may remind us of the need to take care of (get rid of) mental waste, & attune to Spirit for guidance, peace & hope. (She gave her talk, as a roll of toilet paper sat on her head, lol.

    I’ve been feeling Grateful for being able to be “of Service” to those in Need (in a facility that has required total Lock Down). I love bringing joy, laughter, music, mercy, comfort & counseling. We’ve created ways for patients to connect with loved ones through letters, a few ‘window visits,’ etc, But it’s not the same as a Hug, Home visit, etc. Last week, patients made large signs to share messages with loved ones, & we had families “parade’ in cars, around the front of the building, (as patients held up their signs). There were tears all “round’ as they connected with each other (& pets), after so many months of no visible contact. I often go to the mountain & lake to meditate, play music & commune with Nature. “Mercy Light Hearted Blessings to All (especially those in great Need @ this time). /|\

  6. I have to confess Philip, I am one of those people who are enjoying lockdown. The pause in the chaos is palpable. All the frantic rushing around we used to do, for what? It was too much. My children are calmer. I am calmer. The house is messier but happier. I’m torn because I of course do not want anyone else to get sick. I would love for the pandemic to be over. But I don’t want to go back to that madness. “Normality” was anything but.

  7. Hi Philip, Personally the lockdown hasn’t changed our life much at al because we all work from home writing, and running our animal sanctuary. But outside , the world is happier! The drive to the city is easier, people are more relaxed and happy and wanting to connect more. So many people mention they are happier and more relaxed working from home, without that commute! Here in Australia lots of people got stuck into growing veggies, definitely getting back into nature.. and the talk is about how much clearer the air is. And how the animals are feeling better around the world, and exploring the human spaces. People are fostering and adopting homeless animals like never before. Personally love the idea that people have more time to be, to go inwards, to take the opportunity being presented as a chance to reset, and consider that maybe they can get off the treadmill and do something new. Something closer to their heart. I love that people are getting time with their families in a richer and deeper way. I love that people are getting inventive and creative and offering their stuff on line or in other creative ways. I love that people are caring for others. Someone spoke of the toilet paper thing.. well, in our village, we got jack of city folk coming in and buying up everything, so if you were a local, it was held for you. Locals only toilet paper! People have been swapping recipes, exploring more plant-based recipes, and really doing a lot more back to earth stuff. The snuggling in/cocooning time has been fantastic for those of us needing space to heal from the trauma of the bushfires. I don’t know anyone in my personal circle who is ready for it to end quite yet. I know there’s a lot o people who can’t cope and are having all kinds of struggles, but there’s a huge positive side to it and I hope we re-emerge from this time .. a better, kinder society, more deeply connected to each other and the environment.
    Will be very sad to see you go from OBOD, but I trust we will still get to enjoy your lovely presence and creative projects for a very long time to come.
    All the best

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