As the pandemic carries on, it’s no surprise that a lot of people are feeling deflated. Some people are lacking excitement and energy. Others are feeling dreary, bored and fed up. Add these feelings to external factors such as the weather getting colder and the nights getting darker, and it creates a massive cocktail for mental health issues.
When the first lockdown happened, there was a sense of let’s make the most of it – let’s do up the house and spend quality time with our family, most of us didn’t expect a second lockdown. Sheila McMahon, a Mental Health Qualified Counsellor Reg. MBACP, FTP and Comedienne gives us her insights into what’s happening right now and what steps we can take:
‘Covid rage’ – scenarios of people being less tolerant and blaming others. This is like one of the stages of grief – anger. We are all experiencing loss, so it is understandable that so many of us are feeling angry. It is important we allow that anger to surface, but in a healthy way like using what Sheila calls, an anger cushion. She has seen time and time again how bottled up anger can turn into depression and suicidal thoughts.
The New Now
So here we are. The more we fight it the more it impacts our own mental health. Yes, for most people it’s a rubbish situation, and it is so important to acknowledge this. If you are suffering long episodes of depression, then she encourages you to talk to someone, such as your doctor or professional support. Most of us are on an emotional roller coaster, riding through the 5 stages of grief. If you want to learn more about this then have a look at her free online show, a coronavirus special on Sheila’s YouTube channel.
One of the factors affecting our mental health is boredom. We are lacking our usual conversations. Many of us have not been out doing our usual activities that give us things to talk about! Luckily, we don’t have to go ‘out-out’ to have experiences to talk about. We can have ‘out-ins’, as one of her attendees on her recent online mental health show called it.
Show on Understand Suicide
With the second lock down Sheila has noticed a rise in suicidal thoughts and intent. As a result she is performing an extra mental health show this year on ‘Understanding Suicide’ on Sat 28th November. If you want to know more about her upcoming shows, visit www.mindmanagementforyou.com
We Will Carry On
Remember a beautiful day during a pandemic is still a beautiful day. Regardless of what happens, we can still continue on. For Sheila, it’s not about what’s happening, it’s about what we can do about it.
As mentioned earlier, it is unhealthy to take anger out on each other. Now more than ever we need to continue to support and work together. Sheila believes that our best support can come from each other. In years to come there will be amazing stories of how we united together, adapted and used our creativity.