Coronavirus- The psychological implications of a world pandemic

There is no doubting that our world has changed dramatically in the last couple of months. Covid-19 has had massive implications on how we work, socialise and ultimately live. In these uncertain and frightening times it’s normal to feel anxious and confused but there are a few things that we can put into place to try to ease these feelings:


Ditch the comparison

We’ve all been there, hours and hours of scrolling through “perfect” isolation posts of people baking with their child, practising yoga and working out everyday whilst we are sat there on our fifth packet of biscuits this week, in our pjs with the kids arguing...and that is ok!! This is not normal, and your thoughts, feelings and behaviours will reflect this.


Don’t be disheartened, please remember that people only post what they want you to see, behind every photo is one hundred others of what “real life” is like. Focus on surviving at this time and don’t feel bad about doing whatever it is that gets you through!

Practice self care, whatever form this takes

So much has been banded around about using this time for self development and reflection. This in essence is great, and if you can it’s an ideal opportunity to complete those projects that you never get time to do and focus on yourself. But self care can take many forms, here are some of our favourite ideas


  • Go for a walk the exercise and fresh air will help you no end

  • Take 5 minutes...this may be all that you have but 5 minutes just to breathe, stretch or close your eyes will really help

  • Listen to some music or a podcast

  • Limit social media and news intake

  • Stay in contact with friends and family via Skype or video link

  • Join an online/group or forum that interests you

  • Don’t feel guilty about Netflix binges, chocolate munching or anything else you think you shouldn’t be doing


Focus on what you can control

Unfortunately this is a situation that we have very little control over, we are restricted in our movements, work and how we communicate with others. We may also be scared and worried about our health or that of our loved ones.


Depression and anxiety can add to the sense of being ”out of control” and can send our thoughts spiralling into “worst case scenarios” and catastrophic outcomes.


We do not know when we will regain a sense of normal, but this does not mean that we have to be helpless and we should remember that we still have options. In this time, it is important to focus on what we can control- following the guidelines, looking after our minds and bodies, and finding pleasure in small things.


Breathe

If things become too much, breathing, imagery or meditation may help to regain some focus, clarity and balance. Sometimes, five minutes is all that it takes to feel better. Visually positive and negative colors and slowly Inhaling and exhaling these to calm your breathe and your mind is a favourite. There are different apps and YouTube videos which can help demonstrate effective types of breathing and imagery.


Please remember these are hard and uncertain times and it’s ok to “not be ok”. If you feel particularly low or anxious there is help available. Please get in touch for an informal non obligatory chat.



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CONTACT

Dr Michalla Gillbanks

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

 

Psychological therapy both face to face and online

Phone:

07807 648196

Email:

michallagillbanks@hotmail.com

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