Prolonged confinement, like the one we have experienced in recent years globally, has resulted in many people suffering from different challenges related to anxiety and depression.
One of them is the so-called Cabin Syndrome or fear of leaving home. I still remember that day in March 2020 when we had to leave “normal life” and start a very different life, isolated from our friends and loved ones, isolated from all human contact in the face of the danger that COVID-19 brought us.
What happens in our body when we are confined?
When there is a greater cause and we cannot continue with life as we lived until then, the first thing that happens is that we begin to think about the dangers and our brain automatically only begins to see the dangers. Negative thoughts multiply, from there we recreate situations, often unreal, where our lives are in danger and the body enters a state of continuous stress.
This results in the greater secretion of adrenaline, which is a hormone, but at the same time the neurotransmitter, in the adrenal glands, which in a long time begins to be negative for our health and cortisol, the stress hormone that is also produced in the adrenal glands.
Our body enters and remains in a state of continuous alert, a vicious circle from which it is very difficult to get out without adequate help.
This state causes alterations in memory, decreases concentration, causes bodily discomfort, jaw stiffness, digestive discomfort, and is accompanied by chronic fatigue, insomnia, among many others.
Fear of leaving home
Being in that state of continuous alert, it is possible that we see the dangers even when there are none.
And, although the health authorities already recommend leaving home with caution, for some people that is not possible because they have developed a fear.
This is something that happens in situations like the one we live in.
We are talking about a danger that cannot be seen, but exists. As it is something that cannot be seen or identified at first glance, people prefer to stay in a “controlled” place such as their home environment.
How to reverse the effect of fear and return to “normal” life?
First of all you have to identify that there is a problem. Many times, simply realizing that we have a problem is the first and most important step towards finding a solution.
Much has been said on this subject so far and many articles can be found on the internet with tips and steps to follow.
However, if you recognize yourself in this article, I would like to give you some guidelines so that you can start helping yourself from this very moment.
1. Conscious breathing
When we are aware of our breath, we begin to fill more of our lungs. The more air enters and exits, the greater the blood circulation, the greater oxidation in the blood and of course in the brain and glands. In other words, better oxygenated blood reaches all parts of our body and is the first aid in reducing the effects of prolonged stress.
2. Conscious movements
Here we are no longer on autopilot. We take control over our movements and begin to feel every part of our body. Here I suggest stretching, yoga for those who like it, dancing of any kind. A minimum of 10-15 minutes is enough to start building awareness.
Just as negative self-suggestion worked that has led us to a state of chronic discomfort, so can the positive self-suggestion help reverse the negative effects of the previous one.
You can write down or tell yourself every day positive things about yourself. Give thanks for what you have. Know that everyone is going through difficult times and that you are not alone.
Although it is difficult now, this too shall pass.
4. Creative activities
Here I invite you to let your imagination run wild. You might finish that painting, start that drawing, write a few lines, and it becomes the blog or even the book you’ve always wanted to write. Or you just want to knit that sweater or sew a garment that you always had in mind. Whatever that creative activity is, it is something that will help you resume a fuller, calmer and more serene life.
5. Conscious breathing
Here I end with conscious breathing because it is something that does not really end, but is something that repeats itself. Conscious breathing has to be present in every moment of our day to day life.
I assure you that it is possible to have a better life and that you are not alone.