How have you coped with the past year? Lockdown has had a major impact on the mental health of the nation. Around two-thirds of adults have reported concerns about the way COVID-19 has negatively affected their emotional health and wellbeing. Furthermore, an estimated 10 million people will need new or additional support in this area as a result of the trying times we’ve been through.
That the last year has had such an impact on the nation is no great surprise. Anxiety is a natural reaction to an uncertain and unsure situation. In addition to the dangers to physical health posed by the virus, the situations and steps taken to protect the nation created other stressors.
Worries around employment and finances certainly played a significant role. While parents juggled the difficulties of working from home and home schooling, key workers were facing the pressures of dealing with the public.
Managing mental health in lockdown
Coping mechanisms that we usually rely on such as seeing friends, a daily routine away from the home, hobbies and sports and access to support services were largely removed. Collective anxiety combined with a lack of routines and social cues has led to unhelpful habits. These include doom scrolling, reduced physical activity and increased alcohol consumption, which do not support good mental health.
For everyone the combination of factors was different. And while relaxation of restrictions may be helpful to some, for many the effects cannot be relieved by resumption of a more familiar round of activities and socialising.
Spending more time in close quarters with family members may have magnified difficulties in your relationships. Or if you were living alone the isolation and time to think may have prompted thoughts and reflections that you would like to explore further.
Looking after your mental wellbeing
We’re very aware of the impact of the pandemic and with our aim of access for all, have continued to offer suitable services during this time. It’s been more important than ever for people to have space to explore and change their lives.
Remote access to counselling
The availability of technology has meant that we were able to continue offering our services even when we couldn’t see clients in person. Access to counselling via telephone or video call is an option that we have offered for some time and it has certainly proved to be useful in the past year.
Not everyone is able to take the time to travel to an in-person counselling session. They may have family or caring responsibilities, not be able to take the time away from employment or find travelling difficult. Sessions conducted online or on the phone help to overcome these issues and mean we can support more people.
Loss of income has been an issue for many families and individuals during this period. Our range of services includes access to affordable counselling and CBT. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is useful for anxiety, depression and overwhelm. It focuses on breaking cycles of negative emotions making it a particularly valuable approach during the pandemic
Time to talk to us
You can talk to us about how lockdown made you feel and how you feel about coming out of it. If you don’t feel ready to step back into the world again yet. Or, if lockdown has made you realise that you are not happy or comfortable with your life, or yourself – then it’s time to do something about it. Talk to us about how counselling can make a difference to you and your emotional health.