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Strange Times

We find ourselves in these strange times, in situations that are out of our control and subjected to social restrictions that are like nothing we have ever known or even read about. Undoubtedly this will affect us all in a lesser or greater way.

With so many of the population on furlough, most of them on 80% of their wages, small businesses facing financial difficulties or even closing, mass amounts of people losing their jobs and the self employed struggling to make a wage, there is going to be a major impact on peoples sense of well-being. There are also those front line workers that have no choice, that continue to work, putting themselves and their families at a greater risk of infection, affecting anxiety levels. Of course, there are the social distancing restrictions in place, being separated from our families and friends, again these will all have an affect on our mental health in lesser or greater ways on an individual basis.

From a therapeutic point of reference there is something called Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, I’m not going to bore you with who is who and what is what, all I will say is Abraham Maslow is the father of Humanistic Psychology and created what he called a hierarchy of needs - a triangle that sets out what we need as human beings to feel whole.

As you can see there are five levels and for many, only the first layer is satisfied by having food, water, and shelter. Level two is how safe and secure we feel which will undoubtedly affect many. Level three is where the social distancing comes in to play, separating us from family and friends, especially for those living alone. In these technological times we do have the use of the internet to FaceTime our nearest and dearest so that we can at least have a face to face conversation, the vast majority of us have at least access to a phone so we can call them or be called. Please do not sit and wait for others to make the first move, be pro-active, you may be the one who makes the difference and it satisfies your needs too. Level four, as per my previous paragraph regarding employment, relates to esteem. Not being able to work, or not having any work, facing financial hardships all affect prestige and feelings of accomplishment, unfortunately we may have to give this one a miss if we are to keep levels one and two in place.

I hope that this will help many understand from a therapeutic point of view why they may be feeling the stresses and strains at this time. If this is you, then reach out to family and friends for support or check out other avenues of support via the internet, please do not suffer in silence.

Thinking about the families that we support through Jordan’s Weeones, we understand that this must be an overly concerning time, over and above what they are already going through. Having a child going through treatment or post treatment is stressful enough without all the added impacts of COVID-19. Lowered immune systems, neutropenia and being physically and mentally drained by the treatments are hard enough to cope with on their own.

There are also those families out there that have sadly lost their child, being isolated from families and friends and with some restrictions on therapeutic support, this is not an easy time. Extra time on our hands allows the mind to wander which can, and does, have a major impact on people’s mental health.

I, myself, have found these strange times difficult and have found that I need to keep myself busy, doing odd jobs around my home and garden, immersing myself in hobbies and spending time catching up with friends via video chats and phone calls that normal life constraints make difficult. Whatever your position please know you are not alone out there, reach out if you need to and be kind to yourselves, we are thinking about you all.

Much love and best wishes, stay safe.

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