There’s no doubt that loadshedding is causing all of us untold amounts of stress in our daily lives and testing our patience to the limit. www.BabyYumYum has some tips to increase your resilience and stay calm…
It’s 6pm and you’ve just arrived home from work—with so many traffic lights not working, it took you double the amount of time to get home. Not to mention trying to avoid the potholes and aggressive drivers. Plus, you still had to stop quickly at the grocery store to grab something to pop in your oven for your family. As you walk in the door, you realise it’s dark, and that there are no lights. Argh! You totally forgot that it’s loadshedding in your area until 8:30pm!
Your grouchy, hungry and tired kids are already rushing up to you before you’ve even had time to put your parcels down, clambering around asking you what’s for supper. Your heart drops into your chest, and you start to panic. Is this scenario familiar? The truth is that loadshedding is not going anywhere for the near future, so we all need to learn to deal with the effects, as frustrating as they are.
Loadshedding has put many of us into a permanent state of survival mode. When we’re in survival mode, we’re in fight or flight mode. This means that our hearts are racing, our breathing is shallow, and our adrenalin and cortisol (the stress hormones) are rising rapidly. During this phase, it’s impossible to focus, plan and organise or even to think in a logical manner—and this is what we really need to do when we want to think on our feet and deal with situations that are trying us.
How can you stay calm enough to make some kind of plan (like order some UberEATS or boil some pasta on your gas stove) and get through the rest of the evening staying emotionally regulated and not let it ruin the rest of your night?
- Do some deep breathing. It’s well known that taking just 3 long, deep breaths in through your nose and gently out through your mouth can reduce stress quickly and easily. And this is something you can do with the kids together– it’s a great skill for them to learn that will serve them throughout their lives. There are many meditations and music that you can download (when the electricity is on!) that you can use to help slide into a different mindset, one that helps you to calmly deal with the situation at hand.
- Decide what you can control and what you can’t. If you can’t control what’s happening, then there is no point being anxious about it. This way of thinking can really help you feel a lot calmer. Once you know that something is out of your hands, you can let it go much more easily.
- Work out what you can afford to mitigate the effects of loadshedding on your business (if you have one) and also at home. Whether it’s a small inverter, a gas hob, rechargeable lamps and light bulbs, a generator or renting some solar, planning to get off the grid long term is probably the best solution.
- Part of self -regulation is being able to find some perspective on things. Remember that you can model self-regulation to your children. Perhaps it’s about realising that you will survive not having electricity, that you have each other and that actually not having lights or Wifi could be an adventure. It’s also an opportunity to connect in a different way like play some board games, read some books together by torchlight or hold a family danceathon.
- There are certain natural supplements that can really help to regulate your nervous system, and these can offer brilliant support at times when loadshedding and “the state of things” is really upsetting you. You’d be surprised at how much better you can feel if you take a Calmettes, a natural tranquiliser made from the Valerian plant that reduces stress, anxiety and nervousness. I take 2 tablets up to 3 x per day as needed until you feel more tranquil. And right, now, we need all the help we can get what with the daily demands of life on top of the “power issue”.
Hopefully, with these tips, you now feel far more prepared to deal with the reality of loadshedding—and the many stresses of life in general.
*This article has been compiled and researched by an independent source.
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