Open post

Life in lockdown – The impact it has on our mental health

Life in lockdown

With all the excitement we initially felt about the year 2020, we only reached mid March and then suddenly we are faced with the impact of the world being in crisis as a frightening Covid 19 virus surfaced. 

The virus spread globally at a super speed with the heavy impact of the largest and most dangerous “Supercell” tornado.

The overwhelming confusion, chaos and uncertainty of being in lockdown and faced with a silent killer leads to feelings of anxiety. 

We become addicted to watching the news for guidance, reassurance and information as we are sent into a “grief” like state for a while.

We try to digest what is happening to make sense of it all as we feel so disorientated.


How do I adapt to life in lockdown?

I tried to figure out how this instruction for “lockdown” would play its part in our lives.

Of course, none of us were mentally prepared in any way and naturally there are the logistics of changing our lives in such a dramatic way. 

A challenge for parents who no longer have outside support and are trying to home school for the first time.

NHS workers, key workers and carers are faced with all this emotional distress without the luxury of having the time to digest and reflect on how to manage it.

Straight out to work in really difficult conditions feeling scared as they are facing the reality and trauma of seeing people die from Covid 19.   


The effect lockdown has on our mental health

We have been in lockdown for 8 weeks now with still so much uncertainty about when it’s all going to end.

Without clarity and with so much chaos and uncertainty, along with the fear of illness or worse still death we can feel immensely threatened. 

This can lead us to feeling anxious, angry and on an emotional rollercoaster leading to low mood or depression.

When we become triggered by an event such as this our “threat system” is activated. 

This threat system that I am referring to is called the Amygdala, our fight or flight response. It’s purpose is for threat detection and protection so we need the Amygdala but we don’t want to overuse it.


Looking for solutions rather than focusing on the problem

After an initial short period of loneliness, boredom, low mood, anxiety and guilt about “what I SHOULD be doing,”

I retreated into myself to reflect and I decided I can use this period as a self healing and growth spurt.

New activities to keep me sane include:

Daily Joe Wicks workouts which has resulted in me valuing exercise even more and raises serotonin levels/endorphins

I’ve baked cakes valuing eating cakes even more (I concluded the 2 things balance each other out)

Mindfulness walks out in nature which includes Vivary park and beyond over Cotlake Hill, Netherclay nature reserve and Long Run

Meditating on a daily basis which reduces stress, anxiety and develops the prefrontal cortex, known as the “soothing system” 

House party and Zoom meetings with friends including those I have not connected with in years. 

Before all this happened who knew about online Apps such as House party, Zoom and TikTok?

Colonel Tom Moore has become a legend as he raises £32 million for the NHS as the momentum continued with much media coverage as we all needed this positive and uplifting man to help us all feel anything other than utter despair.


Reflections and resources available

There has never been a bigger challenge for our society and indeed the world in my lifetime than this current period of lockdown. 

It’s okay to feel low, anxious, negative and pessimistic about what the future holds.   Just be mindful that you don’t want to get stuck there …  

You can always aim to look for a positive solution, sometimes it can be helpful to discuss it with someone who is calm and rational.

Connect with friends & family preferably by video rather than just texting, exercise, meditate, bake, cook healthy meals, walk in nature, cycle .. 

 Alternatively you could write a journal so you can reflect on this period in your life.

One day we will look back on this period in our lives and reflect back based on what we have stored in our memory.  Life before and during lockdown!

– What sort of memories are you making right now? 

– Are you reaching out if you need emotional or any other kind of support?

– How has this period of self reflection helped you think about your life, what could you change and what solutions are available to you?

-How do I/we adapt to life in lockdown?


There is a quote: “This too shall pass”  and it will, hold in there as it’s a really tough period we are going through.

Reach out for support and don’t keep things bottled up.  There are plenty of people out there who will support you if you allow them to .. 

If you feel you may need some professional support then please do get in contact with me to discuss your situation.  

Text/call me on 07967 753460 or message me by using the contact page.

The link if you fancy giving the Joe Wicks workouts a go. Highly recommended!
A recommendation for a meditation to reduce anxiety and stress!

Open post

Feeling anxious and constantly worrying about everything?

Anxiety is on the increase, especially for our youth. As part of the human condition, we live in a world that offers a lot of uncertainty and there are many different aspects of life that will affect us in many different ways. Most of them are outside of our control or influence:

Politicians and Government bodies making decisions about our future
The erratic and unpredictable weather patterns
Ill health, dying or the death of a loved one
Ageing and our physical appearance

Being liked and gaining other people’s approval
Finding employment
Redundancy, being laid off or not enough regular work
Heavy workload and not enough support which presents itself as stress
Inflation and the general cost of day to day living 
Replacing items due to wear and tear 
Children’s safety or empty nest syndrome as they grow up and leave 

The list goes on, I’m sure you can all add a few (or a lot) of your own ..

So what does worrying about all these things do?


We can worry until the cows come home (sorry I am a farmers daughter) but worrying about things going wrong doesn’t actually solve anything.  Negative thinking creates neural pathways in our mind which sadly also has a negative impact!

The type of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy i’ve trained in (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy) uses a simple formula to help you manage your anxiety by finding the irrational belief.  In keeping with simplicity, it’s called the ABC model.

So what does the ABC stand for?

A – Activating event/trigger (The situation that triggers you)
B – Belief (Our interpretation of the event)
C – Consequences (Thoughts, emotions, symptoms, what you feel like doing and your behaviour)

How do I find out the irrational belief?

You don’t need to, that’s for me to help with as i’ve had all the training so i’ll be working collaboratively with you to discover it. It can be quite tricky to find but we will dig it out!

Firstly we work together to look at the A. The situation which happened or the event/trigger (Ie. Suffering with ill health)
We then jump over to the C as we investigate the consequences of what’s happening (Ie. I felt anxious, I had tummy ache, tight chest, felt sick and kept looking online to see what I may have based on the symptoms I was experiencing)

Then we work towards discovering what the B is.
The irrational belief (I MUST have certainty there is nothing seriously wrong with me and that I will be okay) which is actually causing the emotions (I.e Anxiety which explains all the worry)

B causes the C

Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them – Epictetus.

By working together I will help you to change any unhelpful beliefs you hold and educate you on how to manage your emotions better so they don’t control you.

If you would like to know more about CBT and the way I work and to discuss your situation, then please get in touch by calling, texting or sending me a private message.

Tel: 07967 753460

I’m based at Beaux Health and Wellbeing, 20 The Crescent, Taunton and also at Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre, Bridgwater and for those who are further away, I also offer appointments on Skype. 

Open post

Am I worthy of love and belonging?

Question: Am I worthy of love and belonging?

How would you answer this question?

Does that depend on whether you are in a loving relationship, being loved by friends and family, or being valued and appreciated for who you are and what you do.

All of these share one characteristic, they are part of your outer world and all it can do is mirror your inner state of being in love back to you.

Whatever you are on the inside is always reflected in your reality, in the people and situations that are part of your journey.

I spent most of my twenties and thirties analysing my disastrous love life. On the inside I suffered with anxiety, shame, low self worth and an ingrained belief that I was a failure (now and then resulting in very mild depression). My reality taught me some very difficult life lessons.

Fed up, lonely, disappointed and at my wits end, I hit rock bottom back in 2012. I needed help, so armed with sheer determination and courage along with a profound realisation that I was creating this reality (blaming others ran its course until this point), I decided to face my shadow self and seek out Avy Joseph as he was recommended to me by my flatmate for improving self worth.

So there we have it, I was introduced to a pioneering form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy called Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT for short). It took just 6 counselling sessions to change 3 irrational beliefs that I had been carrying around for approx. 15 years +

Some of the insights I now have and will share with you.

  • You and I are worthy of love and belonging 
  • We would prefer not to be negatively judged by others but if we are we can accept ourselves regardless
  • There are always going to be girls/guys out there who are prettier/more handsome than you and I
  • Be yourself and be authentic. You are who you are.
  • We are human beings. Therefore, we are unique individuals with strengths, weaknesses and a constellation of traits and abilities.  

Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we are motivated to change. It can be slightly scary facing your shadow self and seek help but it’s the most effective and transformational thing you could possibly do to change your reality for the better.

If you want to gain some useful insight by having counselling, then seek out a CBT therapist like myself and take the first step.

You can contact me by phone, email or Skype for a free confidential consultation about your own circumstances.

Scroll to top