You may find it harder to get support and harder to follow your usual way of coping.
Many are managing to cope using skills learned through experience.
So, what are some of the mental health challenges?
The constant media commentary and regularly government briefings
can be a trigger for people who experience obsessions or intrusive thoughts relating to catching or spreading the virus.
Constant slogans to urge people to obey lockdown controls but phrases such as ‘control the virus, save lives, stay alert preceded by protecting the NHS, save lives and stay at home. Clear directives which impacted on our daily lives.
Many organisations moved their services of support online or over the phone. I continued to work with my clients predominantly via Zoom. Although it’s important to acknowledge that while online, telephone or text support can be great for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some clients prefer face-to-face but soon adapted and gained great value from the online sessions.
Here’s a selection of recommendations that I shared with clients recently.
Establish a Routine
Where possible, maintain your normal activities and daily routine. Eating healthy meals, regular exercise, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. Participating in activities that you enjoy and getting enough sleep, which will have a positive impact on your feelings and thoughts.
Develop a Support Circle
Join a trusted group of colleagues that you can turn to for practical and emotional support. Some support circles assign you with an accountability partner, a group of people who hold you accountable and give you valued encouragement, advice and support to improve your confidence.
Learn from Past Experiences
The chances are that you’ve experienced some of these challenges in the past. Remember how you coped, what you did, what you said to yourself and the actions that you took.
You may have visited a counsellor, doctor, wellbeing practitioner or other specialists. Remember those times and apply that learning.
I teach my clients how to focus on their breathing to instil calm and relaxation through guided meditation and how to be mindful.
We probably spend more time planning holidays, furniture to buy in the house, programmes to watch on Netflix than we do when planning our mental health and wellbeing.
Plans don’t need to be comprehensive but ensure that protective factors such as exercise, sleep and social activities are undertaken, and that risk factors like stress are minimised.
Limit Your Exposure to the News
Just a few minutes spent watching or listening to negative news in the morning can affect the entire emotional trajectory of your day.
Negative news influences how we approach our life and the challenges we encounter. The majority of news stories showcase problems in our world that we cannot control.
Try and focus on things that are positive in your life. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends seeking out positive stories and images of local people who have encountered and recovered from the coronavirus. Or those who have helped someone through recovery and are willing to share their experience.
It’s possible to stay informed about the news and remain positive and focused in your life, but only if you control your consumption of news instead of letting it control you.
If you know anyone in your world, friends, neighbours, work colleagues who you think would benefit from spending some time with me, please ask them to get in touch. I’d be delighted to arrange a free 30-minute consultation.
Telephone 07967 052585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org