Like many of us who are city based with limited outdoor options I have found lockdown a challenging experience and have had to dig deep into my own range of psychotherapeutic skills to find ways to look after my mental and physical health. Alongside my role at the university I am a psychotherapist, working from a holistic, biopsychosocial model, with a focus on the effects of trauma on both the body and the mind.
I have been reflecting on what is getting me through these past weeks and as a practitioner it has become clear that there is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself during a global pandemic so what follows are simply three things that I have found helpful during this time:
1) Going outside everyday regardless of the weather. I try to take my walk at a regular time every day as this helps me to establish a bit of routine as well as getting me out of my brain and back into my body and connected to the world around me.
2) Finding ways to disconnect. Whilst the technology is great; between work, clients and staying in touch with friends and family it can feel like life has become one long conference call. Whether its reading or cooking, even housework, intentional time away from screens or news has felt really important to carve out.
3) Having food in the house that I love and that feels a bit special has been a way of being extra kind to myself. A piece of dark chocolate and a
cup of tea won’t make up for all that I’m missing, but it does help to soothe the soul a bit.
Whether you are living alone, with a partner or family the main thing is to figure out how to look after yourself in a way that works for you. Try to take things one day at a time and remember that there will probably be days when everything feels a bit too much and that is ok too.