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By Mike

Read more about Mike


Lockdown 3: Here we go again!

Will it be over by the summer? Can we handle one Christmas without seeing friends and family? I can’t wait to see the back of 2020! Sound familiar? I have heard these statements and said them myself on many occasions. As we complete the first two weeks of 2021 we are in a third lockdown, the case numbers and mortality rates are at their worst and I have heard a lot of people confused by this as they have been told at different times that this would all be over soon. When you add this anxiety and uncertainty to the fact that it is January, which is a tough month, people are back to work after the Christmas break and have the financial hangover from the festive period there is a cocktail of mental health concerns that many of us are struggling with. To make matters worse we are approaching ‘Blue Monday’ on Monday 18th of January which has been labelled the most ‘depressing’ day of the year. By this day many of us have broken our New Year’s resolutions, are feeling the financial repercussions of Christmas, and it’s still two weeks until pay day and I am not going to even mention homeschooling …

I have spoken to a lot of people in the last two weeks and there has been a lot of anxiety about going back to work and the dread of getting back to it after a quieter Christmas break than normal. This of course is an entirely common feeling for this time of year but it is definitely worse with everything that is happening with longer working hours, less staff, more pressure and working from home. If you want some help with working from home, then please check my previous article.

A couple of things that have come up with clients in recent weeks is the fact that a lot of coping mechanisms that have served us well over the last lockdowns are now starting to lose their impact and options are limited to try and find sources of comfort, entertainment and stimulation. A couple of things I have been focusing on with my clients is to get out in the fresh air during the day. With the long nights it is good to get some sunlight and stretch the legs, even if you are busy at work and with children there is always a way of finding 20 minutes to have a brisk walk. Feeling positive. However bad things seem, there are always rays of lights to focus on. It could be work, hobbies and interests, focusing on your health or finances, what are those things that you have said ‘I wish I had the time to do that’ but then never got around to it – this is the time. It is also a positive sign to see the vaccines being rolled out across Ireland and the UK and hopefully that will have a major impact in reducing the spread and to bring this virus under control. As always, reach out to friends, family or a professional if you are struggling.

Take care and look after yourself.