Since I last spoke to you, we have celebrated Christmas and Easter, which for many was safe but not energising or as fulfilling as we would have wanted after a tough year. And although we are still living with the enormity of being locked in, not seeing loved ones or extended families, friends and our work colleagues, the weight and the reality of limited physical contact being carried daily, there is very much more light at the end of the tunnel now.
I don’t know if you are thinking the same but I have noticed an overwhelming surge in top tips, how to get better at baking, PE masterclasses, how to stay motivated, how to relax, how to home school, how to walk the dog, the list seems endless on social media and the pressure to follow also feels relentless. I decided within my blog for SYLO | Beyond HR. to reflect the enormity of questions that are being raised by our Clients, about themselves and their teams, within Counselling sessions right now, and thought it may help others who are wondering: “what is everyone else thinking or saying?”;
· Am I OK to feel like this?
· How can I tell if I am OK?
· What if I’m not OK?
· What happens if I feel happy and no one else does, can I still smile?
· Will lockdown ever really end?
· Is it OK to tell people I don’t feel lucky?
· Is it OK to miss my parents and tell them without upsetting them?
· Is it OK to not like my family or partner?
· Is it OK to cry?
· Is it OK to tell my employer how I’m feeling or thinking?
· Can I sit on the sofa and put my feet up without feeling guilty?
· Is it OK to feel trapped and why do I feel trapped?
· Why is my teenager so grumpy?
· Am I drinking too much?
· I feel really angry with everyone, is that OK?
How many of the questions can you resonate with? I am very certain; you will have more of your own questions to add. There is no right or wrong way to think or feel, we are all feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the continuing process of COVID-19. We feel the control of lockdown, day after day and living with the prospect of small gradual changes over the coming weeks. Over the coming months, our families still need to function daily within different and at times, complex working structures. We need to earn money to pay the bills, relationships feeling strained or breaking around us, home working becoming harder to manage and contain, still worrying about our parents, carers and many people who are alone, the lethargy of the same routines, they are just a few of the areas which we are feeling the most pressure.
Acknowledgement of what you are thinking and feeling is key to processing some of the emotions; it’s OK to feel sad, happy or angry. Show you care by supporting each other, sharing a cuppa whilst catching up online, picking up the phone to a friend or loved one, hugging a grumpy child. As we emerge from lock-down, take the opportunities allowed to step outside and meet up with others, where you can. All of those actions can help but so can some time on your own, space to feel, space to think, space to breathe and space for your own self-care. Be kind to yourself, change is coming and we will need to be mentally ready to embrace a new normal.
Remember to give yourself permission, learning ‘to understand yourself doesn’t mean you’re selfish, it’s the care that’s required to support your own well-being and others around you’. Self-care starts with you. You have my permission to be brave and start sharing how you feel and think right now.
If you need professional support, for you or your team, SYLO | Beyond HR. offers a confidential Counselling service.
Contact us on: 01844 216290 or email@example.com and we can provide the options that are right for you and your employees.