Things may be slowly returning to a sort of normality, but the pandemic has left many people feeling anxious, confused, lonely and with little motivation to tackle life head on.
It’s particularly impacted new mums. A recent study by The Mum Club found that 89% of mums feel lonely and anxious at least once since giving birth and 51% of women who felt loneliness said they couldn’t speak to anyone about it.
Leading psychotherapist, Emmy Brunner says: “Throughout the pandemic I have seen many usually high functioning women and mothers, hit a point of feeling completely mentally exhausted and yes, alone, despite being with families.”
Parent perinatal mental health charity PANDAS reported calls to their helpline have increased by 240% in the last year.
So, we caught up with leading Psychotherapist Emmy Brunner to help you shift a gear and enter a happier state of mind.
Emmy’s 5 tips for beating anxiety and loneliness
Reassess how you talk yourself
Work on being as kind to yourself as possible. When we’re going through hard times and feeling vulnerable, we need to be especially mindful of how we’re talking to ourselves. Being conscious of the tone and words you’re using can help introduce a more compassionate narrative.
Tell someone you’re struggling
When we’re feeling low and isolated, the darkness can be tempting to sink into. Challenge yourself to connect with a friend, let people know that you’re struggling. We can’t expect support and help if we don’t communicate what’s going on with us. It’s possibly the last thing you feel like doing, but it could be the most important.
Break the habit
After several months of lockdown, many of us found the motivation to work out or exercise waning (if not disappeared completely!). Reignite the habit by finding other ways to move your body and connect with yourself. Dancing with the children, doing some gentle yoga, or breathwork are excellent ways of maintaining that relationship with your physical self.
Explore different types of meditation
Meditation isn’t for you? Maybe you haven’t tried the right one yet. Meditation is one of the most impactful ways of soothing an anxious mind, but there’s no fixed type. Explore different styles and see what you connect with most and what you find it easiest to engage with…do you like listening to the sounds in nature? Do you find guided breath-focused mediations relaxing? Or perhaps you find the sound of a particular person’s voice soothing? See what’s for you and then try and stick with it.
Get some vitamin D!
Getting outside is a beautiful tool to bring us out of our heads and back into connection with ourselves and the world. It’s been a tough few months, and many of us have been locked up indoors, avoiding the rain and the dark afternoons. Spring is a wonderful time to begin to re-emerge, use nature as your inspiration. Busy day working and only leaving the house to pick up the kids? Jump out of the car and turn your face toward the sun while you wait to pick them up. Then at the weekend, get outside as much as you can.
Main Pic: @fairytailphotography