This current situation has given me plenty time to think about things. Will it make me a better therapist? Life turned upside down almost immediately in March when we were told to stay indoors and protect the NHS. I totally understand why that was done. However here is some of the things that I found have happened:
Can't be bothered to get dressed
This phase lasted a few weeks, but it did seem pointless getting dressed just to stay indoors or go for a quick walk. When I did get dressed it was in comfy clothes that had a stretch to it such as tracksuits. Though it's comfy it does seem to have an impact on your mood.
Not looking after myself the same
I actually quite like cooking, however I was finding that even though I had more time to do it at times I couldn't be bothered. When you're down it's apprising how much a home-cooked meal can make you feel better, but it's often the last thing that you fancy doing.
Setting unrealistic goals
At the start of the first lockdown I set myself allsorts of goals. I was going to rejig my website which I have done, however I was going to be superfit, have a tidy house and also have the best skincare routine ever. I did get a bit fitter as I was doing PT sessions, however I'm still rubbish at doing body lotion and think I always will be. I've also learned that the reason I am untidy is nothing to do with time, it was unrealistic to expect me to change my personality just because of a pandemic. Mrs Hinch I am not.
Getting annoyed at toxic positivity
There was a post going around at the beginning of the first lockdown suggesting that you needed to have learned something or built a new business or produced something. Thankfully I never bought into that type of goal, however I do find that type of toxic positivity irritating.
Getting annoyed at the people who seem to know it all
I found myself deliberately go into the comment section on Facebook post from my local newspaper, just to find out what the conspiracy theorists are saying, and it irritates me. I know I need to stop doing this as it serves no purpose.
Finding other people making assumptions about me
Can we just agree that inspirational quotes are the worst. The early stages of lockdown I was bombarded with inspirational quotes from well-being friends and acquaintances assuming I was struggling. My true friends who know me, know that I'm an introvert and was loving it.
Overdoing it on a good day
When I have had good days I have been a total productivity Guru, I have completed work, exercised and cooked from scratch but then I have found that I've been exhausted after a few days of this and been unable to keep up the regime.
Feeling anxious about getting back to normal
I am finding myself getting slightly worried about getting back to normal, I've got to confess I quite like social distancing. Tall people have a habit of reaching over me in the supermarket, I hate people invading my space and so I quite like it when people keep their distance. I'm not looking forward to the relaxing of social distancing. I feel like I've got quite cosy the way it is.
Not being able to see an end to it
Thankfully it does look like the end is insight now with the new vaccines, however for months it is felt like there would be no end to this and difficult to imagine things going back to normal.
My social life has disappeared
Though I am quite introverted I do have a social life. I love going to the theatre and the cinema on my own and have not really been able to do this. Though I am happy in my own Company I have found that the lack of options has been upsetting, I like knowing that I could go out if I wanted to or I could invite a friend around for tea. Having these options taken away from me has felt really sad.
Weekdays and weekends are the same
Weekdays and weekends have felt the same, there was felt like little point differentiating when there is nothing to do at weekends as I live alone and cannot mix with other households. I have found it frustrating when people ask me what am I doing at the weekend or expecting me to have had done something exciting at the weekend when this is simply not an option.
Having achievements that meant something to me and no one else
At the start of lockdown in March I decided the point on Duolingo that I wanted to get to before lockdown ended, when I reached that point I was surprised to hear that Chris Witty did not think that that was reason to end lockdown.
My 12 year old niece is now taller than me
Frankly this is just rude. I know I have no control over how much she grows, but I can't help but compare.
My income has reduced
I have been lucky that I have been able to claim some of the government help, and I have been able to work although it is dramatically reduced. It has been worrying to see a change in my income, and it is a worry for the future.
Letting people virtually into my house
I have been lucky that I have been able to continue working to some degree, but this has mainly been over Zoom. I have found myself thinking about what is in the background as it feels a little intrusive to have people you barely know coming into your house, even if it is virtually.
I'm not for one second suggesting that my experience of lockdown is like having life changing injuries, however I am reflecting on how my life has changed very quickly in a way that has been out of my control and I've not always understood rules or like The changes that have been imposed on me. I have found myself dealing with other peoples' expectations and comparing myself to others and setting goals or expecting changes that were just not realistic. Lockdown has been difficult in some ways and this is without having to deal with life changing injuries. I hope I have always been aware of the privilege it is to allowed into a client's life and home and their most difficult time, however I think we can always learn and the best therapists are authentic in their approach and can draw on experience to bring to the process.