So, here we are, in a world which seemed unimaginable just a few months ago. I am still working, seeing clients online, and so thankful that I was 75% online before this began. Staying connected is so important right now that I have decided to do little weekly update posts here, hopefully sharing resouces, ideas, thoughts and feelings every Friday.
I started preparing for the impact of coronavirus about a month ago. Having lived in Taiwan during the SARs outbreak I was aware that some changes in how I work might have to take place. The attempts to limit infection seem almost naive now, but I am glad I put them in place. I have also offered a payment holiday to my clients impacted, for at least 3 months, as I feel that right now only by working together will we get through this.
Two weeks ago I noticed that moving online was causing stress and anxiety to many of my fellow professionals. At that point there didn’t seem to be anything free available to help them, so I set up a series of free webinars. It wasn’t online training, just a very brief how to use zoom, as a counsellor, based on my years of experience. It’s odd how much doing this helped me manage my own worries and uncertainties. Doing something constructive allows us to feel in control and so lessens anxiety levels. Right now the world can feel very out of control so it is important to build in areas that you feel that certainty and agency over your own life in.
Which brings us to the first week of lockdown. Living in a rural area I have decided to take photos and videos around my house to share on social media for those self isolating. Nature can be a huge solace, and have such a positive impact on your mental health. I want to make very clear that these are being taken without even leaving my village, and as I take my daily exercise. Indeed some are from my garden! You can find them on my facebook page or #springwatchwithKaz on twitter.
Another very useful resource for those shielding or self isolating is this blog from Pink Therapy – with a host of different stuff you can access online from support groups to concerts
Right now I expected to be flying to London, to help tomorrow at the Queer Desire Conference. Instead I will be helping run the conference online – really stepping into the unknown! It has provided a welcome distraction however, and distraction is important right now. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to pace ourselves. This can be very hard when it looks like everyone else is doing lockdown “better” than you. From competitive mummies boasting about home schooling, to people who seem to have already written a novel, there is an unhealthy push to be constantly productive, and make this time about what you do. In fact the only thing you have to do right now is make it through each day – that,s it. I might try to write more about “Lockdown shaming” next week – because I think a lot of people feel like everyone else is doing it better.
Lastly I just want to say, be kind, be loving, stay safe and wash your hands