Anxiety & Depression During Lockdown
Remember like all feelings and emotions it is normal to feel a certain amount of anxiety as it is meant to protect us from danger. Depression also helps keep us from being distracted, pushing the most important issues to forefront of our thoughts. It's only when either anxiety or depression take control, that’s when things become difficult.
I can imagine that for some of us, being in lockdown can become overwhelming and seem unmanageable. Depression and anxiety can often follow as a response. You may feel a loss of connection and control or start to develop negative beliefs and attitudes. Perhaps you start to develop an increasing sense of hopelessness, coupled with a reduced ability to function at 100% and as a result feel you are not living a satisfying life.
So, in these difficult times what can we do to help ourselves to feel better?
1. Name it. Validate it.
Telling other people, you're anxious or depressed can feel scary, shameful, and self-defeating. But expressing that feeling can be the beginning of releasing it.
2. Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home and myself”
As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.
3. Stay close to your normal routine
Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.
4. Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage
Choosing only certain credible websites (who.int or cdc.gov is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.
5. A chaotic home can lead to a chaotic mind
With all the uncertainly happening outside your home, keep the inside organized, predictable and clean. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic of your environment- so keep it tidy.
6. Start a new quarantine ritual
With this newfound time, why not do something special during these quarantined days? For example, perhaps you can start a daily journal to jot down thoughts and feelings to reflect on later. Or take a walk every day at 4 pm, connect with a friend or relative over FaceTime every morning, or start a watercolour painting which you can add to every day. Having something special during this time will help you look forward to each new day.
7. Work with a mental health professional
Sometimes we need professional help to escape the dark thoughts whilst in isolation.
How My Online Sessions Work & Prices
My online counselling sessions are conducted over Zoom. I send out an email before a session which contains a link to click on to join our session. As with my face to face sessions, online sessions are 50 minutes long.
Unlike my face to face sessions, I am not able to guarantee our sessions are private as I can only control the environment my end; which will always be secure as I have a private, closed space to work in and use headphones during sessions. To ensure your session remains confidential, you will need to make sure you are in a quiet and private environment.
More details relating to online sessions can be found here.
Special lockdown prices:
£65 per session (normal price £78)
Sliding scale is available for those who are struggling financially during lockdown
I have set aside a number of sessions per week available FREE to NHS staff