Coping with Social Distancing

Since lockdown began in the UK, ‘social distancing’ has been a phrase that we have heard on a daily basis.

 

We hear about it on the news, at the shops and even in memes online. Early on in the journey, children quickly understood what a 2m distance looked like. We would drop ‘covid’ into conversation like it was an everyday word and for the first time in many people‘s lives we became mindful about wasting food – it’s like we had travelled back to 1946.

The important thing, however, is that social distancing in the UK has been a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread COVID-19. We understood and accepted the rational for why socially distancing meant physical distance from both loved ones and strangers but emotionally it’s been a huge challenge.

Listening to your Covid concerns

There had been a range of feelings of anxiety, worry and fear relating to ones own health and that of the wider family. Adults and children have talked to us about their concerns of exposing others to the disease and of getting sick themselves.

There has been a lot of anxiety around work, income and juggling that all important ‘work life balance’. Many of you may be shielding or looking after children 24/7 through the school closures. Being able to work from home has many positives but to do it whilst juggling a house full of children can be incredibly stressful and challenging. Furlough – the most used word in 2020 – for some may mean a once in a life-time stay-cation but to others it means uncertainty, change, loss of a routine, possible redundancy or instability.

In the early days there was the knee jerk reaction to the news of a lockdown with many people unsurprisingly panicking. Whilst on the one hand, we might now laugh at ourselves for having brought the largest bag of pasta or enough toilet rolls to build a small house, but it is important to remember that this behaviour represented. It was a real anxiety about being able to feed and look after ourselves and our family

Many parents have spoken to us about their concerns of being able to adequately look after themselves or their children during this time. What would happen if they became unwell? How can they create a suitable home-schooling environment for possibly multiple children all with different needs and behaviours? How would they manage without their usual support network of grandparents and childcare?

When will normal become normal?

There has been a lot of uncertainty and frustration about how long we will need to remain in this ‘new normal’ and uncertainty followed by confusion about the future and what it looks like.

Understandably many of us have felt lonely during these times, cut off from the world and from loved ones. Other emotions that people have shared are their sense of anger because they feel that they have been exposed to the disease through other people’s misbehaviour. There has been a lot of social pressure to behave and follow the rules but also an ambiguity about what the rules say. You may feel a neighbour has been overly intrusive commenting on your or your family’s behaviour. Judging and feeling it’s ok to criticise. You or your loved ones may have felt bored and frustrated because you are not able to go about your usual business that you have lost control of what’s important and that a Big Brother is preventing you from living your life.

There is a huge amount of uncertainly and many people have turned to alcohol or drugs to cope. Some people on social media have proudly shared how the lock down has turned them into functioning alcoholics but for others addiction is a real issue. The lack of support and increased stress may be luring them back to old habits and the struggle is hard. It would be understandable for many of us to be experiencing feelings of depression or low mood, feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, sleeping little or too much in response to much of the changes and uncertainty that we have faced.

Coming out the other end

For some of you, you may feel this experience has made you stronger and more confident to cope with life’s challenges because you got through his period in one piece. For others if you are struggling to manage your feelings and would find it helpful talking with somebody outside of your usual support network, then we are here for you.

We can offer our support to you and work with you to manage any difficulties that you are experiencing.

If you would like to get in touch to talk about how we might be able to support you, then contact us, telephone 01423 637818 or email enquiries@evolveps.co.uk and we will do our very best to offer you something that fits for you.