Coronavirus – how will you use this time?

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic I have recently found myself wondering how our drastically altered lifestyles are affecting us all at an emotional level. And I don’t just mean the obvious anxieties we hold around our employment, finances, housing, food access or health either.

My thoughts are turned more towards what happens when we remove our go-to coping strategies which occupy much of our time; our work, spending, shopping, socialising, leisure time and all other forms of distractions. I recently read a comment by a psychoanalysist who suggested that we will all project our biggest fears onto this virus, and from observations in my daily and clinical life I tend to feel this is a fairly accurate statement.

I am witnessing a great number of individuals in unhappy or unsatisfying relationships being forced to spend time with one another, with no means of getting away or consciously dissociating from their problems.

We are being called upon to tackle our elephants in the room.

In my view, this gives us a number of options to consider. Do we fully address the personal and interpersonal challenges in a constructive way, abandon ship, or continue to put our hands over our eyes and ears pretending everything is normal? Undoubtedly this incredibly trying time calls for each of us to pull on our inner and outer resourcefulness and compile an emotional and practical stock-take of all the things that serve (and no longer serve) our needs.

There has never been a better time to get the psychological house in order, utilise our time wisely, reflect, and plan for the future. Are you happy? What do you need? Where do you want to be? These are all areas of our lives which require (and deserve!) our attention as we contend with taking the difficult immediate steps to ensure our current safety and survival.

Perhaps some good can come of this crisis, that we may find an improved version of ourselves, focused more inwards on our spiritual and emotional well-being, rather than reaching for endless distractions to unsuccessfully plug the hole.

I hope you stay safe and wish you well.

Take care,

Steph x

New Year Resolutions and the Snowball Effect

With 2018 only a stones throw away some of you might be considering making New Year resolutions.

Might…!!

It’s a bit of a running joke really isn’t it? Each year we sit down all positive and well-meaning, coming up with new ways and strategies to improve our lives, relationships and health.

I will lose 14lbs… I will learn French… I promise to help my partner more… and yet by the second week of January the majority of us seem to have given up and relaxed back into the old habits we’d identified as not really serving us. So why is that?

It’s all too easy to simply laugh these things off but if you’re seriously attempting to make important decisions about your future and are struggling to focus perhaps you could do with a bit of a psychological MOT!

The science behind why we tend to ‘fail’ at learning something new is well-studied. In the way that you learn to write with a certain hand, speak a language, drive a car, or make a cup of tea, after a while we’ve committed it to memory and are largely working from automated programmes – we no longer have to think about it.

So despite you vowing to give up that second glass of wine with dinner or jog for half an hour every morning, we can often feel that the pull of the ‘old ways’ is too strong and we simply give up, perhaps rationalising, “well, what’s the harm anyway?!

Counselling isn’t just about helping people with stress, anxiety or depression, it’s also about helping individuals to know and accept themselves deeper than ever before.

This could equate to improving willpower, switching jobs, re-prioritising life, or dropping bad habits. You’re the one in charge of your future and only you can reach the goals you set for yourself.

So what are they? How are you going to get there?

If you feel you need a helping hand (heck, we all do from time to time!) then why not source a local therapist to see how they can support you?

Sometimes it just takes a little push of the proverbial snowball to create enough momentum for an avalanche, so let’s smash it!

What do you want to achieve?

Wishing you all a very healthy, happy and peaceful New Year with love, light and sparkles.

Steph x