Local counselling service offers tips to help mental health during lockdown

April 13 2020
Local counselling service offers tips to help mental health during lockdown

"It is normal that residents might be beginning to feel the effects on mental health and wellbeing."

A Filton-based mental health counselling service is offering support during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Network Counselling and Training has been offering affordable counselling for over thirty years and is based in Elm Park.

Their team say that with tthe coronavirus and stay-at-home guidance become a reality for us all, it is normal that residents might be beginning to feel the effects on mental health and wellbeing. 

Network’s Head of Counselling Andrew Dale says, “This is a time of uncertainty, and most of us will find that uncertainty difficult to handle. For now, we have a new ‘normal’. Some of us will feel anxious about our own health should we contract the virus. Many others will have concerns about the health of friends and family, and we might be unable to visit people we are anxious about. For some, this time involves painful physical separations from loved ones. For some, it is a time of loneliness; for others it creates extra stress on relationships with those with whom we live."

Andrew and his team say there are things you can do, however you are feeling, to help look after your wellbeing.

Keep in contact

Human contact and connection is really important. We can keep in contact with people online or by phone, and those conversations and interactions can really help at this time.

Reframe

If it’s possible try to think of this time as an opportunity to get something done. It might reading a book, having a tidy up or catching up on something. Remember this is for a set time period.

Keep a sense of normality

Sticking to your usual sleeping patterns, making the time to eat regular meals and having a routine can maintain a sense of normality. If you’re not sick, and you’re able to work from home, that can be really helpful too.

Self-care

It’s important to make time to look after yourself. Even if you’re stuck at home you might be able to join a yoga class online, do some basic exercise or sing with a choir remotely. You might also want to limit the amount of time you spend reading the news or looking at social media.

Helping each other

Showing kindness to others enhances our sense of wellbeing. If you’re able, consider offering to help someone vulnerable or older, perhaps a neighbour. Or simply practise this with those you live with. This can also help create a shared sense of getting through this together.

Go easy on yourself

We will all experience ups and downs during this time – times when we feel on top of things and times when we feel overwhelmed. Be there when someone is feeling ‘wobbly’ and they can do the same for you.

Network’s General Manager Rita Smith says, “Right now Network is running normal services remotely and working to respond to the coronavirus and the resulting need for safe, supportive listening space in which people can share their fears, anxieties, financial worries and relationship difficulties from home.”

Visit www.network.org.uk or facebook page www.facebook.com/networkcounsellingbristol for news updates.