2020 is a year like no other. With such drastic changes happening so quickly for the country, there have been big adjustments to be made both in our day to day lives as well as mentally.
When lockdown began we took the decision to go online – we simply could not let our clients go without the much-needed counselling sessions. It was incredibly important to us that we could offer help to anyone who needed it. This came with its own challenges – ensuring that our clients were able to speak confidentially to us and that our counsellors had the correct technology and private space as well as ensuring the platforms we were using were safe.
We worked hard to allow our clients to be able to access their much-needed counselling and to support any individuals and businesses that needed our help.
We reopened for face-to-face appointments as soon as we were able to and have robust policies in place to keep everyone safe. We have installed screens, providing face masks and face coverings, hand sanitiser is available and we are only using the larger rooms so that there is enough distance during sessions.
Lockdown was and still is a new experience for everyone. Despite the fact that we were all experiencing the same lockdown restrictions, everyone’s experience of it was vastly different. There were children missing the structure and support of the school and their friends, parents homeschooling their children whilst trying to work full time, key workers supporting their community by continuing to work as well as people facing uncertainty about their jobs – and these are just a few of the many scenarios. When you consider the huge transitions people made in such a small time, it is understandable that so many people experienced negative feelings such as anxiety, stress, low mood/depression or loneliness, some for the first time in their lives.
For many people, these feelings are often temporary, however, if left untreated these feelings can develop and soon become overwhelming. It is important to seek help before this point – which is why we wanted to keep our services available during the pandemic. A recent survey by Nuffield Health reported that around 80% of British people working from home now feel lockdown has had a negative impact on their mental health, while a quarter of those (25%) said they were finding it difficult to cope with the emotional challenges of isolation. It is vital at times like this, that we check in with those around us and reach out if we feel negative emotions.
During difficult times we can try to protect our mental health – here are just a few tips:
Read-only reputable news – ensure you have the facts and don’t allow yourself to be taken in by fake news.
Keep in touch with your friends & family – Social media is a great way to keep in touch with those around you, but try and limit your screen time and avoid scrolling through social platforms for too long.
Keep active – Although there were restrictions on exercise at first, enjoying the outdoors can really boost your mood and allow you to feel free from the confines of your home.
Plan your day – Having a plan can help you to feel more in control, especially when you cannot control what is happening in the outside world.
Try meditation – Meditation & yoga are a great way to relax and clear your mind to focus on the present.
Sleep – Although you may find it difficult to sleep right now, it is important that you try as best you can. Avoiding technology before bed can help you to get a good night’s rest.
These tips are helpful, but no matter how small or insignificant you think your feelings are, it is important to seek professional help and advice sooner rather than later. You can have a free telephone consultation with us and find out more about our counselling services.
As and when the lockdown eases, it is important to understand that not everyone is feeling good about the situation. There is a lot of change and uncertainty, for people already battling with their mental health it can become even more stressful. If you are feeling worried or nervous about the ‘new normal’ it is important not to hide these feelings. Talk to someone about them or seek help from a professional if you need to.
No matter how small or insignificant you feel your problems might be, it is important to acknowledge and overcome these feelings in the right way.
If you need to speak to a qualified professional and experienced counsellor we can help you. You can arrange a free initial consultation and we aim to speak to you within 24 hours so there is no waiting around.