What an unusual year this has been, so far. Many obstacles for those who live alone and had structured their lives well e.g. classes, visits to the library, coffee mornings, lunches etc. – all that was taken away. Equally, families living in perhaps cramped conditions have struggled with the lack of space and privacy.
Interestingly, some clients have shared feeling less anxious and stressed during this time. As staying in has been not just the norm, but a requirement, the pressure of getting out and about, participating in social activities or even vigorous gym sessions was temporarily removed. This may have made things feel lighter for those who generally struggle to find motivation or just can’t bear the thought of leaving the safety of their own homes most days. However, it is important to be mindful that this strange phase we have, and still are journeying through is likely to go on for a while longer.
As appealing as it may sound to abandon all efforts to have contact with the outside world and stay active, we mustn’t forget that our world will turn back again at some point, and we need to be prepared to venture out there once more. We know that avoidance reinforces the threat.
For those of us who are unable to, or do not yet feel comfortable with face to face meet ups and other social activities, it is perhaps useful to remember that daily activity and social contact can take on many forms: an online exercise video, walking around the house or garden doing jobs, dancing around to music while cooking, messaging or calling a friend or a family member, giving a video call a go (this may have felt unfamiliar to begin with but we do get used to it the more we do it!). Preparing a daily schedule can help stick to a routine, which in turn can stimulate motivation. Ticking off each task as it is completed can bring a great sense of satisfaction.
Challenging times, indeed. We can provide the space to talk the issues through, in a safe and contained environment – now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to ask for, and accept help.