Given the current climate, Smart Girl Tribe has reached out to Edinburgh-based counsellor Sharayah Sinek to gage her thoughts on dealing with mental health issues during the pandemic.
Sinek says: “Different mental health conditions will impact people in different ways. I also firmly believe that every person’s experience will be unique and entirely their own.”
For all of us, being stuck at home and unable to go about our normal lives will be a challenge. Add in not being able to interact physically with others there will undoubtably be an increased sense of loneliness. Isolation will cause many to feel trapped and alone. Below Sinek shares her advice to tackle your worries and concerns at the moment and possible triggers.
Acknowledge each emotion
We have a lot of time on our hands at the moment so it is important to name your feelings if they start to overwhelm you. Then, explore activities to keep you busy. Create some art, read a book or do a puzzle. It is that little bit of escapism that is essential to feeling sane. Journal writing is also a great way to manage this too as you can get your thoughts and feelings out on a piece of paper Another way is to reach out to others and get things off your chest with those whom you trust.
With so much uncertainty at the moment, it is a good idea to create some routine in your day. This helps us feel that there is some order in all the chaos and can limit the feeling of things unravelling beyond our control. It is the sense of holding on to what we can control. Part of this is exercising in your day, as well as getting enough sleep so make sure that this features in your routine too.
Try and remain positive
These are tough times and we need to look after ourselves. Binge that Netflix show, have that glass of wine, take that long bath. As long as these measures don’t become unhealthy then factor things in that make you feel good, if not spectacular. I would also suggest limiting your news intake to what only feels necessary. All that negativity is unhelpful.
For a lot of us, we have lost our sense of purpose and helping those who need it. This is something you shouldn’t stop even when facing a time of crisis. It doesn’t have to be signing up to be an NHS volunteer but phone that friend who is struggling, get some shopping for your neighbour, go wave at your grandma through the window. These little acts of kindness lift the mood of others as well as yourself.
Remember your human strength
Put simply, we have come through so much and we will get through this. Remember all those struggles that you have overcome to get to this point. You have a phenomenal capacity to survive and you have the strength to get through the unthinkable.
Sharayah Sinek is an Edinburgh-based mental health counsellor. Sinek’s work is primarily informed by the psychodynamic approach which focuses on how experiences and relationships influence choices, values, beliefs and relationships. Fundamentally though,where we provide counselling to individuals in private practice.
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