Its been a year since covid started. A virus that expected to vanish soon enough but turned in to a pandemic. Its been a process that changed people (possibly the long term) and some have adapted while others sadly did not. I thought I’d do something different, rather than discussing a specific psychological process, I wanted to write about how people should possibly be moving forward for the year ahead.
As has been seen, mental health was one of the most discussed topics of 2020. I had many clients discussing about how to move forward with covid, meaning how to cope in such stressful times. With that came many other scenarios that were up for discussion and strategies and techniques were developed for clients to move forward. I thoroughly enjoy when I hear my clients finding benefit in therapy. What is more important is that people realise that we are all learning and adapting right now. That to me, is crucial right now because in my head, I feel that if the aftermath of the pandemic was to last, I know that is a challenge that I have to deal with, there are no excuses for me and I am no different to anyone else. So in saying that, I wanted to share some things I found out about myself since the pandemic started and perhaps these things may resonate with you or it might produce ideas that could potentially benefit you. If you know something has helped you, please share this in the comments below so that everyone else can benefit also:
I found that I am more resilient than I thought. How so? So much has happened and with that have become long lasting changes which I’m sure will continue for some time to come. I realised I could so much more work from home than I thought I could. I was worried about how clients could be booked and seen. But all that happened online, yes, changes had to be made about how I discussed bookings with clients, some were of course not happy as they insisted on face to face interaction while others were more open to trying online therapy. Its safe to say that it all worked out in the end. There was lots of testing to make sure all processes in the pipeline worked as they should and that clients felt that the therapeutic process was not too different from in-person therapy. I believe there is more work to be done so that I truly feel I my heart that online therapy can get as good as in-person but right now, it’s the best compromise in these scenarios.
Time management was difficult, after all, your boss isn’t there to manage you so how do you stay motivated? One of the easiest things is to write a diary or schedule but I found that calendars for your iphone or google calendars for android smartphones could replace appointment and basic note taking. That level of automation for me, was enough to replace pen and paper. Now I don’t need to worry if I forget an appointment! You can try both methods of physical and digital note taking, though I know people prefer one or the other. I wouldn’t want post-it notes everywhere but if that works for you, stick with it. We all can agree on this: time management is ever more important otherwise we can all get carried away by watching a few too many videos or scrolling through pictures on social media.
Boundaries. Yes, that word again. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. I mean, even if I wanted to emphasise this enough, I don’t think I could. The pandemic meant that most of us were working at home. Not just you and me, but everyone else we live with. If we are all working at the same time, we need to be aware of the others requirements and make sure we accommodate everyone so that they are as productive with their work as they can be. I have learned to be aware of who starts what shift and which time, so I know to be a little more ‘quiet’ and respectful for the other’s work. It doesn’t feel like I’m working half the time but no matter what, work has to be done and that is important. If any of us have struggled with these things, a quick reminder is to think about how your family member would feel if you walked in to their room while they were working and asked them if they wanted a cup of tea (even though you know they don’t want one yet). Also, be aware that if you talk about work, try to keep it to a minimum unless of course you and your family are happy about discussing work related issues. Keep work and personal life separate, number one rule.
There you have it, some things I wanted to get off my chest. It’s been a while since any blog was written, sometimes a good break is vital for a recharge. I intend to write more articles and get back in to things for the year ahead, so get ready for more things counselling, therapy, CBT etc. Until next time.