A PSYCHOTHERAPIST says understanding our fears is key to sustaining our wellbeing in isolation.
As the nation remains in lockdown, uncertainty continues to loom around restrictions, recovery periods, and the long-term impact of the virus across the world.
In the meantime Alex Golabek, who runs Egotherapy in Stratford, explains how to keep fears, triggered by this uncertainty, at bay.
She said: “The current situation is likely to produce all sorts of emotions, including anxiety, particularly because the outcome of the pandemic is so difficult to predict.
“It’s important to pay attention to how we are feeling right now because it’s important to understand and accept it. When we do, the intensity of the feeling – particularly those uncomfortable ones like fear – dissipates because the need for the emotion to remain as strong as it originally was when it first appeared lessens. Pain, for instance, can be viewed as a warning our mind sends to our body. If we pay attention to it, we are likely to stop doing whatever was causing it. If we don’t, it continues.”
For those living with their significant other, she advises active communication, both inside and outside the relationship, is key to dealing with uncertainty and to help maintain a healthy bond.
“We are all allowed to experience the current reality differently; it doesn’t mean our relationship needs to suffer. To help keep the balance, it’s important to virtually reach out to those beyond the realms of our romantic relationship, too. That’s something we [Alex and her partner] both do at different paces. Although we have also recently enjoyed playing an online quiz game together with our friends on Skype.”
Feeling connected, being creative and exercising are all ways to combat negative feelings.
People across the UK, and the world, have been uniting virtually to take part in events and sessions from PE and coffee mornings, to discos and crafting.
Alex explained why interaction and keeping active is important during lockdown.
“Resilience can counteract our feelings of hopelessness, inevitably brought on by uncertainty and loneliness can be dissipated by frequent virtual contact with others. Social media and online meeting platforms have never been more useful than now. Developing a new skill will also have a positive impact on our mental health. For instance, my partner has recently learnt to sew which helps her focus and be in the moment, as well as actively relax.
“We might also become more inclined to engage in exercise when staying at home, benefits of which are widely known; increased endorphin levels on a biological level, as well as experiencing accomplishment on the psychological one.”
She assured there were some positives to emerge from the unprecedented impact of the pandemic.
“There is hope that, as a species, we will become more united than we previously were due to the . beings are social creatures. The need for maintaining a sense of belonging is currently higher than ever. For this reason, adapting to change while showing and receiving support can be extremely beneficial to our wellbeing.
“It’s difficult to say if life will globally return to what it was before Covid -19 at this moment, though adapting to the new reality will ensure our mental health doesn’t suffer.”
Alex is continuing to help her clients via video-calls.
Visit egotherapy.org for more information.
Pyscotherapist Alex Golabek says understanding fears is key to sustaining wellbeing in isolation.