Updated: Mar 3
Mid-way into the first month of the new year and many of us in the UK, and beyond, are wondering if 2020 is truly over.
Festivals, rites, traditions have been curtailed and subdued. No need for New Year's resolutions - climate change, Brexit, Black Lives Matter, the pandemic and its recurring lockdowns, division, isolation and loss have presented such overwhelming challenges that we question whether we have the capacity for more.
Let's not understate things - 2020 was a tough, sad, heart-wrenching year.
We have been challenged in ways we have not known previously. We have lost in ways we have not known previously. Let's not understate things - 2020 was a tough, sad, heart-wrenching year. So what can we do to take care of ourselves in the face of the uncertainty of 2021?
Pay attention: listen to your body and mind.
Maintain healthy habits and mutually supportive connections. If necessary and where possible, begin new ones.
Take a break from social media if it feels overwhelming.
Studying? What support is available during this time?
Parenting and home-schooling? Who can help? What can you put in place?
If you are concerned about your emotional/mental health, seek counselling support. Remember, online and telephone counselling is available during throughout lockdown.
For more information, take a look at he following links and take care.
Covid 19 guidelines
Updated: Mar 3
I'm pleased to be part of this new venture: Black Minds Matter UK (BMMUK) launched on December 1st this year to provide funded counselling to people of Black heritage looking for counsellors of black heritage.
Black Minds Matter UK is a charity connecting Black individuals and families with professional Black therapists.
The charity aims to remove the stigma of mental health and remodel services so that they are relevant to the Black community. Clients do not pay for sessions.
For more information please see the following links:
Updated: Mar 3
Another Lockdown and differing attitudes towards the safety guidelines and government restrictions abound. From the risk averse and those seeking balance, to confusion, complacency and denial.
Many of us have been shielding since the spring - some of us to the point of extreme isolation. Many have been pro-active in wearing face coverings wherever possible, reducing travel and reducing contact with friends and family to the minimum.
Currently we are all living in a state of flux and uncertainty.
Confusion, heightened anxiety, insecurity and loss of life. A culture of judgement and blame causing conflict and division. Those who were in peril before the pandemic are now in double jeopardy or worse.
How do we take care of our mental health in the midst of all of this?
Many of us are finding individual ways of coping with the pandemic - whether it's withdrawing completely, including avoiding social media, living according to the guidance, or tailoring it to suit, or rallying support for help during this crisis. Some of us have turned to counselling for support.
With mental health awareness increasing during the pandemic, many, perhaps for the first time, are seeking counselling and psychotherapy.
The pandemic, however, has severely impacted the availability of mental health services across the globe. In the UK, face-to-face appointments during Lockdown are reduced and some services have been suspended once again.
But in an effort to meet the continuing demand for counselling support, some practitioners, having expanded their online and telephone counselling services back in March and April, are continuing to offer these
Many practitioners have stopped seeing clients face-to-face but there is still some help available.
Issues affected or exacerbated by the pandemic may include: anxiety and depression, bullying, career development, caring for dependants, chronic conditions and illness, communication issues, compulsions, consumerism, diet and exercise, disability, discrimination, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, education difficulties, family relating, financial difficulty, freedom of movement, friendship issues, general well-being, grief and loss, homelessness, hyperactivity, identity, independent living, insomnia, lack of concentration, lethargy, loneliness, moving home, parenting issues, peer pressure, personal freedom, physical health and fitness, racial issues, redundancy, relationship issues, retirement, self confidence, self harm, social anxiety, socio-political issues, starting a new job, 'stuckness', unemployment, well-being of keyworkers, work-life balance, work-place issues, and more.
Talking to a professional counsellor can help to support you through periods of difficulty.
Help is available through the NHS via your GP, through workplace schemes, charitable services and not-for-profit organisations. Private health schemes and practitioners tend to have reduced waiting periods.
You can search for counsellors through online directories and counselling networks such as Psychology Today, BAATN or Pink Therapy, or through counselling bodies such as BACP and UKCP. There are also organisations offering crisis support and advice free of charge, by phone, text or online.
For more information see the links below:
For information on how to find help:
For information on how to find help in a crisis: