Published February 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm
Reaching Out During Lockdown
I am speaking to more and more people who are deeply concerned about their loved one’s mental health during this latest lockdown. So too, are they concerned for their own mental wellbeing as the weeks drag on.
Many parents are not only struggling with home schooling, working from home and in many cases both, but are also concerned about friends and family who are feeling isolated and alone. Many people are finding the balance of this all too consuming and in some cases finding they are struggling greatly with their mental health.
We take for granted the moan at the coffee machine, the banter in the office about one’s spouse (whether that be a generalisation about men or women) and the perhaps most importantly, the soft touch of a colleague who touches your elbow or arm in support. These small but important things are greatly missed however, we probably don’t even realise it on a day- to -day basis.
This is where ‘reaching out’ is so important! It not only helps the person we are reaching out to but, it also helps us in return. I realise that most of don’t reach out for us instead, we often do when we feel concerned about someone. However, don’t underestimate the power of feeling that you have helped someone, no matter how big or small that help might be it feels great to do so.
For many ‘reaching out’ might feel alien or uncomfortable especially if it’s at a distance like on the phone or via Zoom. I often advise that people reach out in the first instance via text. Sometimes, that is all that is required. Just knowing that someone is thinking of you can be enough to lift our spirits and can help enormously in getting us through the day.
Just listening is also a great way of supporting people. We often don’t ask how people are doing because we often feel that we will need to tell them what to do, to problem solve for them or even rescue them. This is NOT the case! So often, people just need an ear to sound off to, it helps them unload. When we unpack our grievances and problems we feel lighter and more able to carry on……..not rocket science is it? It also allows us the opportunity of solving our own problems.
We have talked about you can reach out however, you may be in need of someone reaching out to you? My advice is don’t expect friends and family to mind read, be clear about how you are feeling. Reach out to them by saying “I’m not feeling great today”, this starts the ball rolling and makes them aware from the start that you need a ‘sounding board’.