By Suzanne Shenderey

Changing world

The past few weeks have been incredibly strange for everyone. We have all been able to follow how this pandemic has spread from China across the entire globe and at least for the time being life as we know it has changed. The impact of social isolation reaches far beyond its intended purpose of slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Most of us are facing an uncertain future in terms of finance, health and our ‘normal’ way of life. At the moment I am adjusting to this new normal. The advice I have received from the National Hypnotherapy Society is that I can continue to work with clients. I have obviously taken precautions to ensure that I have followed advice on handwashing and who I can safely see face to face. I am explaining to all my clients that we may need to work via Skype or telephone in the future.

Feeling anxious

I am sure I am not alone in having experienced feelings of anxiety over the past few weeks. I have reassured myself by recognising that this is a normal response to a very abnormal set of circumstances. I have also felt guilt, at not being able to see my older relatives. I have feelings of helplessness because I want to help others but I don’t know how. I have had many conversations with friends and I feel very lucky to be supported at this time. I have taken solace in the thought that I am not alone in this. We are all facing this together and I have seen and read many stories about the strengeth of the human sprit, from a couple getting married in the supermarket to Italians singing to one another from their balconies.

Struggling with Mental Health

This crisis is likely to impact on the mental wellbeing of all of us. Being able to check 24 hour news in normal circumstances can be very stressful and anxiety provoking. I shared an article from the BBC recently about how to protect your mental health and here are some of the main points:

Limit the news and be careful what you read

  • Decide on a time to check in with the news and limit the amount of time you spend. There is a lot of information going around, check the source to make sure it is reliable such as NHS or Government Websites. If things aren’t making you feel better consider switching them off.
  • Have breaks from social media and mute things when they are triggering anxiety
  • You can mute key words on Twitter, unfollow accounts or mute WhatsApp groups and Facebook posts if you are finding them too overwhelming

Wash your hands but not excessively

  • For people with OCD this can be particularly difficult. One way of tackling this is to make sure that you are only hand washing the recommended number of times to reduce the risk of spread of the virus. Watch out for it becoming ritualistic. You can seek help from charities such as OCD Action.

Stay connected with people even if you are self isolating

  • Make sure you have the right phone numbers and email addresses. Agree check in times with friends and relatives. Try and structure your time – it may even feel like a productive 2 weeks as you get through your to-do list or read that book you’ve been meaning to get to.

Avoid burnout

  • This could go on for a long time so make sure you have down time. Get outdoors when you can, rest, practice meditation, eat well and stay hydrated.

Continuing to work

Suzanne is a qualified, professional hypnotherapist and mindfulness teacher practicing in North Leeds she is also an Ambassador of the National Hypnotherapy Society. Suzanne, along with many other hypnotherapists, plans to continue to offer Hypnotherapy via Skype or over the phone if necessary. So if you are interested you can find her and other qualified hypnotherapists on the National Hypnotherapy Society's Accredited Register: https://www.nationalhypnothera...

Wishing you all health and strength.