So, here we are, in the second week of the strange, sometimes frightening, new world. I dislike the idea of calling it the new normal. For one thing for many people being unable to leave the house, socialise as they want, access goods and services they need, was normal. Secondly this isn’t normal, and we shouldn’t become complacent about the huge stresses people are under, the exceptional lengths NHS staff are going to, the hours shop workers are putting in, the panic parents are hiding to stay smiling for their children. None of this is normal – and that’s OK. OK to feel like you slipped into the worst episode of Black Mirror ever, OK to feel confused and disorientated, OK to not be OK.
This week has been difficult for many people. The reality of lock down is I think sinking in, self care, self compassion and gentlessness are vital right now. On my facebook I have noticed a certain grumpiness, as people snipe, or seem shorter tempered, as the stress is felt across the world.
I am trying to find one thing each day, at least, which lifts my soul, be it a good news story, a message from a friend, a song, book, blog or podcast. Its something I would highly recommend. It is also important right now to consider limiting news and social media consumption, as it can simply exacerbate feelings of fear and anxiety. There is a good series of tips here on managing anxiety https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips/
One of the highlights of my week came last Saturday, with the Queer Desire Conference, where I and a colleague were responsible for moving the whole event online in less than two weeks. Apart from the tech, it was an inspiring day, and so good to chat with peers from across the world.
You can watch the videos we made on the day here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq0YMIOL4KO-kbrQ4RhE4Cg
Since then a number of organisations have got in touch asking me to consult on moving their event online which is a very exciting development.
Slightly less exciting, and rather infuriating has been the panic from some about zoom use. Largely a misunderstanding of what encryption is for, or how to lock rooms zoombombing has been described as hacking and zoom itself as malware. The last thing people need right now is unwarranted fears, and some of the journalism has been quite irresponsible.
There is quite a good post from zoom here https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/
A tldr – always have a waiting room set up, always lock your room. Not doing so is like having an invitaion to a party out on facebook with your home address, promoting it, then being surprised when 1000 people turn out and trash your house.
Tomorrow is going to be, hopefully, a much more positive day, as I am enrolled on a course with Mick Cooper via Online Events https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/relational-depth-in-counselling-and-psychotherapy-mick-cooper-tickets-100165387370. With an almost full client list, and a determination to do the very best that I can by my clients, I am looking forward to a day where the fundementals of counselling are explored in depth.
I am contiuning #springwatchwithKaz although sadly not everyday as I had overoptimisitcally hoped. One of the important pieces of self care right now is, I believe, to realise we have fewer “spoons” and to set our goals accordingly. However people do seem to be enjoying the pictures and videos!
As always, stay safe, stay home and protect the NHS
Solidarity and Kindness