Change, Loss, Time and Space

We cannot deny that many of us will experience sadness because of COVID 19 related events. We are all under this gloomy psychological cloud at the moment, but clouds pass and after the sky clears, the sun eventually comes out. 

So, are there any general emotional guidelines that we can use, and lean upon, in these times? Four of the major emotional disrupters are: change, loss, time and space (headspace). 

Most of us are undergoing some sort of change. Self-isolating and working / schooling at home is massive. Add to this, a different workstation, and a digital form of communication, and it can feel like everyone is on top of each other. Please accept that you may feel disorientated. Create new routines and zones for yourself to try and stave off confusion and irritation. 

“Humans need other humans, so the loss of seeing and mixing with schoolmates, work colleagues, and friends may feel like a mini bereavement. ”

Most of us can access a digital social media platform somehow. Humans are incredibly adaptable, and I promise you, while it's second best to a big old hug, it’s pretty good to see someone’s face and chat. Try to chat about things other than the virus… tell jokes, remember happy moments and do not indulge in uneducated and unresearched gossip. 

Time will weigh heavy on many people’s minds and time can be warped by the same old scenery. My thoughts are ‘each to their own’ on how you fill your time but do a little daily plan; not too big… not too small. Carry out jobs and pleasures mindfully by being truly in the moment with whatever you are doing. Step out of autopilot and into awareness. 

Learning to relax is pretty good so consciously think about how you can relax and try to be at ease. Try intently staring at something twenty metres away while counting to 20, as in one thousand … two thousand three thousand… etc. This will take you away from stresses and strains and it is quick and easy. Escaping and avoidance is OK. 

Head space can be a confusing thing. Try the mental opposite to multi-tasking. Slow right down and clear out unwanted clutter. 

“Ask yourself, 'Is it essential that I think about that?' If the answer is no then put the negative thought into a heavy cast iron box and close the manhole size lid on it. A clear head gives clarity - a crowded head gives confusion.”

Finally, smile inside and out. Obviously helping others practically is essential and good for everyone’s soul, but psychologically offer others compassion and empathy and go easy on yourself aswell.  

When listening to someone who may feel a bit tattered at the edges, listen deeply, change your body shape, make eye contact and put yourself in their shoes while placing your feelings and thoughts to one side. 

Please remember, while this episode is seriously tough it is exceptional, it is unique, and it will not last forever. 

By Shane Lutkin, Lead Psychotherapist

In light of Covid 19, therapy sessions will be held via Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, or telephone, as opposed to face to face appointments. Call 07986 488690 or email info@emotionalskills.uk.

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