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  • Writer's pictureHilary McMeeking

Counselling during lockdown

Gosh, another 3 weeks of lockdown. How are you feeling? I know I'm beginning to forget what 'normal' used to look like but at the same time things still feel very surreal. Yesterday seems like only minutes ago, most days are not long enough to get everything done but last Friday seems months away; it's really difficult to explain but time seems different in lockdown. Having the Easter break last weekend made it feel a bit like a summer holiday, especially as the sun was shining and I could sit outside and get a tan. Things are very different when a holiday takes place in your own garden!

I've noticed a general feeling of underlying worry around me, perhaps even terror. I know the thought of my own loved ones getting seriously ill is a thought I try to steer clear of but thoughts aren't always obliging and they pop into our consciousness whether we want them to or not. If I don't watch the news or engage with social media I find it's easier to cope. If I catch the news or see the terrifying numbers rising, I need to practice some mindfulness or meditation to help get me through the day, there's some great free yoga online too. This has helped me a lot but I am surprised that, even when I feel that anxiety is far from my door, I can get some very vivid and frightening nightmares. And I know from my counselling friends that I'm not alone in this. I also know that on the days when the worry invades I can't seem to find the enthusiasm for yoga or the solace in mindfulness that I need and I just have to ride the wave until it subsides.

For some people it's not the worry of illness anymore, in a way that can sink into the background when we're living 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with people we often only see in the evenings and at weekends. Tensions can run high and we all cope differently with the threat of job loss and money problems.

So, how are you really? I'm very sure that it's ok to not be ok at the moment. Some people are finding they have good days, when they feel on top of things and in between those are the bad days, when it's hard to get out of bed, shower and feed themselves, let alone look after others, the bad days are tough to get through and it's hard to remember that this situation is not forever. Relationships are under strain and currently theres no let up.

On bad days it can be a comfort to talk to others. Good friends and supportive family are a great resource in these tricky times, yet sometimes they aren't entirely what we need or they are also having a difficult time and you might not feel you want to share your burden with them, or they might be the source of your stress. So where can you turn to?

Sometimes we need someone more 'neutral' to share our worries and difficult thoughts with, someone who will listen more than give an opinion, someone who won't tell you 'don't be silly' or 'of course it will be ok' because in your head you're shouting it's really not ok right now.

There's lots of help out there and people willing to listen, The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and are there for anyone who needs to be heard. If you're awake at night with no one to talk to and you need to tell someone about your fears then I'd recommend them as my go to people. There is also a lot of other help out there too and the numbers and contacts are on my website here

I am also here if you need to talk. I offer a free initial session and discounts for those who have lost some of their income recently. If you're not sure if counselling is for you then please watch the video below. During lockdown I'm working with clients by video link. So, get to know me here and get a taste of what it's like to work with me online or face to face in the future.

With warmest wishes


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