I am writing during a long break from work due to the Covid 19  rules.

As a therapist this has been a long and strange year. An enforced time of inactivity in many ways.

One of the things this year has done is to force you inwards, no bad thing for a therapist.

Although many people have moved their work online, I discovered that this was not something I was content to do. So for much of the year I have read, practised disciplines of qigong and meditation, and been in contact with family and friends. Some people, including myself, lost loved ones at this time. We lost our daily activities, our work and perhaps our purpose.

And yet this has not been the same for everyone. My generation have had to isolate more and be very aware of a perceived but invisible danger.  The younger generations have had to struggle on to continue to work and perhaps also become a teacher of children. All these things brought challenges which we have all been hearing about throughout the year.

This has led me to reflect that for some the very notion of who we are has been shaken. Our values and responses to external threats have shown us a self we have not always been proud of or even been aware of.

Resilience became a buzz word and we pondered what that was and where it came from.

Many of you will have found that with so much that was beyond your control you tried hard to control other things, or perhaps gave up and indulged in things that felt good at the time but left you feeling empty and wondering how you would ever be the same again.

To those who are struggling I have a few suggestions as to how you might help yourself during this time

1 learn a breathing technique that works for you. Practise it regularly. It’s the simplest thing so don’t dismiss it as insignificant. It works and can with 10 mins a day practise, begin to calm your mind and body down. There are lots of ways of doing it but concentrating on breathing out for a little longer than you breath in is the essence of it. This means counting the seconds as you breath in and out, expanding the belly as you do so. Don’t get dizzy, do it slowly and calmly. It builds up during time and you can ‘top it up’ if you feel panic or anxious for any reason.

2 Write your worries down. This takes them from going endlessly round in your head and moves them from inside to outside. There you can examine them calmly and rationally and perhaps even make plans for what you might do if any of these things have or did happen to you. You could ask yourself

 a. what can I do about this situation?

 b. what resources do I have to overcome this difficulty? 

 c. where can I go for help to help me sort this out?

Remember times in your life when things were hard before, they passed, you coped, you will cope with this too.

3. if the news is making you too anxious and your mind is constantly on the threats to yourself and your family, its ok to give yourself a break from information. Listen to music, go for a walk read a book or watch a funny film instead. Do these things for a couple of days and you will find the threat diminishes now you are no longer focusing on it all the time, remember we what we focus on we get more of in our live.

On a personal note, I miss seeing my clients, I hope that when the vaccination program has reached us that we can open for business again. I look forward to helping with any issues that may have arisen for you during this time. Thank you for your patience during the year and I look to a time soon when we can open for business.