Mental Health In Lockdown

I’m sure we have all been experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions throughout lockdown with isolation from friends and family, financial concerns, health worries, concerns about other people and the uncertainty around when this will all end.

Everyone I have spoken to has is now really feeling it and has a desire to return to some normality, along with concerns about it being safe.

My own personal strategy with this has been about looking after me and mine, we’ve gone to ground a bit, just focusing on our little unit. I have been working with a few clients, doing a lot of behind the scenes work and making plans for my little business which has made me feel guilty for not doing more!

Lockdown has seen a full range of reactions in our house – anxiety, sadness, panic-attacks, depression, confusion, worry, anger, happiness and gratitude. It has created conflicting emotions such as experiencing stress about specific issues but having less-stress over-all, feeling free but also confined. And each day is different – some are positive, happy and focused, while others are negative, clouded in self-doubt and criticism.

Having older children has also meant being there to help them navigate their emotions and the impact lockdown has had on their lives – no school or exams for one child and no final show on her art foundation course for the other but they have still worked and created and become occupied in amongst their anxieties, frustrations and sadness at life coming to a halt, with only each other and their parents for company – torture for most teenagers.

It has also been a time of personal and professional reflection – going forwards my work is going to be a bit different and I am happier with less pressure on my shoulders. My personal reflection has meant learning a lot about myself, what makes me tick, what makes me happy, what makes me stressed and unhappy? What do I want my future to look like? I am a worrier but I am doing a lot less of it, my anxiety has eased and I am happier having a simple life.

Some people have really struggled in lockdown, others have blossomed. I feel somewhere in-between, trying to focus on the positives and appreciating the stuff we can easily take for granted – just going out, seeing family and friends, long walks and sitting in the sun, going to the supermarket without feeling anxious or stressed, being able to put food on the table, hugs, having this time with my almost adult children, health and a safe home.

However, I have been putting pressure on myself for not doing more but, thanks to words from brilliant friends, I am doing enough and that’s enough. And so are you.

Janine – mum, wife, friend, practitioner, me

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