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Freedom of choice

Many of us have been feeling as if our freedom of choice has been suspended.   Not being able to make choices with regards to our movement in terms of  how, when and where to work, do shopping, practise our sport , go for walks, walk our dogs, etc, has made us feel as if we are not in control of our own lives, causing us to feel unsafe.  When we feel unsafe, we feel anxious and vulnerable.  During this very trying time of having to face the challenges inherent in dealing with a pandemic in general, and more specifically with the current lockdown situation, it is even more important than usual to keep ourselves emotionally healthy.  One of the ways to see to our emotional health, is to remind ourselves that we do still have choices.

Lonely woman looking out of her window

We can choose to have a positive attitude, we can choose to focus on the inherent gifts in the lockdown situation, like time – time to reflect , time to be, time to just do nothing, time to spend with kids, with our animals, time to garden, time to spring clean etc…. We can choose to be kind and supportive to one another, we can choose to practise meditation and mindfulness.  We can choose to take time to reflect, to go inwards, to identify patterns within ourselves that need changing, to reassess our goals, to visualize our dreams.  We can choose to evaluate our jobs and our businesses, thinking of new strategies to improve our performance and our businesses.  We can choose to have deep meaningful conversations with one another about the meaning of life, helping each other to make sense of it all, cementing and deepening our relationships in the process.  Making these choices, or perhaps more importantly, being aware of making these choices, will make us feel more in control, and therefore more safe… and less anxious…and add significantly to our emotional health and well-being.

Written by: Dr Lize Wolfaardt

MA Counselling Psychology at the University of Pretoria

MA(Psych) D.litt et Phil (Psych)



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