As I shut down for the Christmas ‘break’ in 2020 I felt deeply reflective about what had been a hugely challenging year for all. As a Homeopath and Life Coach I am privileged to hold space for clients who struggle on both physical and emotional levels, but the overwhelming nature of a global pandemic in the mix has been HUGE! Supporting those who needed holding, nurturing and hand-holding through some of the toughest, bleakest times needs documenting!
Everything experienced has been a fight between ordinary and mundane events, to the sheer cataclysmic forces ensuring that we all were on the receiving end of a whole lot of extraordinary and that has deeply affected the nations’ mental health.
Anxiety, Depression and the Fear of change have been emotions that have dominated discussions.
Anxiety can paralyse us, stop us from doing what seems easy and simple to others. It is that fear of the future, fear of what ‘may’ happen, the intense dread of an event and the adrenalin-infused anticipatory overwhelm that has been exacerbated by narratives concerning Covid19 and what ‘could’ happen. Our anxiety has been fuelled by 24 hour rolling news, the ‘doomscrolling’ ( a word that I only learnt last week) on social media in which we hunt out bad news to quell our sense of acceptance for refusing to engage in things, such as going out or meeting a friend for a walk. It is the uncertainty about school, work, exams, medical appointments which then creates more anxiety and further encourages our parasympathetic nervous system to go into constant ‘fight or flight’ mode. After a while, we can just give up, mutter a ‘FFS’ under our breath and then just withdraw. But what happens to all that misplaced energy, adrenalin and cortisol? I can tell you exactly what – it affects your sleep, your moods, your menstrual cycle, your ability to engage with family and friends, your appetite and your interest in things you used to love and enjoy.
Depression is different from anxiety in that it can be described from anything from a low mood, so feeling fed up, to full-blown clinical depression in which you literally cannot leave the house or engage in any sense of life. A dark cloud of energy hovers over you like a dementor, literally sucking the life-force from you. Depression plays havoc with relationships, your ability to eat, or maybe even over-eat, it can affect your bowel movements, your periods, it can range from tearful to meltdown to continual crying. And I’ll be honest, I don’t believe there is a single one of us out there who hasn’t been on this scale in the past 12 months.
Fear of change is an emotion probably harder to describe in that this is, for me, something that we have dealt with in terms of losing what seemed normal back in March 2020, to now having to anticipate what may be an outcome post-Covid. How could we ever have known that our freedoms would be taken away for so long? How will we adapt to what lies ahead? What can we do to make that transition seem do-able?
This year I have been quietly documenting the pressures that many have faced and how events have actually triggered needing support on an emotional level. Here is what I have found:
Young people/Teenagers – the uncertainty of will they take exams? Having milestones removed such as end of year proms, ceremonies, results day parties, examinations has really shaken them. It has affected confidence, worthiness, sense of being ‘clever-enough’ as well as an underlying sense of unfinished business.
Those in their 20s – not being able to move out from home, living with family when you want to be independent, having your every move scrutinised by well-wishing parents, or perhaps, living too far away from family and feeling isolated, cut-off and lonely have been the flip-sides of the coin for this age group. This has led to suppressed anger, temper, feeling caged-in and the guilt that comes with that, because surely being loved isn’t a problem?
For those in their 30s – the halt on career or parenthood progression has been intense. For many new parents who haven’t been allowed to engage in the ritual of birth as is culturally expected, not being able to involve extended families in this, the cancellation of weddings and the disappointment has been so very saddening.
Midlifers – 40’s and 50s – It’s been like being in a sandwich between kids’ needs and parental needs. Constant worrying about elders, providing for families if they have them, taking cuts in pay, losing jobs, losing loved ones and not attending funerals, there is much grief being collected by this age group.
Those in their 60s – sadly I have treated many who have had enforced redundancy due to their age, so the plans, hopes and dreams about retirement and ‘moving on’ ceremonies have been disbanded and forgotten, all attributing to a sense of lack of self-worth.
70+ – I think that many in this age group have really felt very aware of the capabilities of the human body and how they need to accept the aging process. Fortunately, those who I treat in this age group have been exceptionally pro-active about taking back control!
There are remedies that deal with depression and anxiety and I have walked many patients through the journey that has led them to improved mental health. The beauty of homeopathy is that every case is different, it is a bespoke system of healing in which how the anxiety, depression of fear has affected you personally. I know that my toolkit contains resources that allow any transition to be met with positivity, encouragement and hope, whilst also honouring the ordeal that you have been through and holding space for those emotions. I began studying homeopathy because I believe in the power of the human body to self-heal, and I truly believe that we will heal from this devastating year and emerge into better times. Homeopathy supported thousands and thousands after the Spanish Flu in 1918 and has been supporting on an emotional level for 300 years!
My top tips for non-homeopathic shifts to boost mood are:
Daily walks in nature. Becoming more aware of your place in the natural world is really life-affirming and the serotonin released is powerful!
Spend time with animals. Unconditional love is just the best.
Dance! Put your favourite songs on and just let loose!
Be kind to yourself. Things will get better. You are worth your love and kindness.
If any of this has resonated with you please feel free to book a free 15 minute discovery call to see how homeopathy/coaching or a combination of the two can help you and your mental health.