When the news about Covi-19 first hit the headlines I found that my thoughts were racing, and were up and down. The more information that came my way, the more negative I became. I decided to cut down the time I spent listening or watching the media. This helped me to stop over thinking the vast amount of opinions, theories and negative headlines that I had been exposed to; my mental health improved as a result, and I was able to look at the situation without “putting my head in the sand”.

I tried to focus on the positives – I was still in work, I hadn’t caught the virus, and neither had my friends and family. The situation might have been bad, but it could have been worse. Soon, I felt back to my old self, and was not worrying about what might happen. As more time passed, I came to what I would call an acceptance. Today, while taking sensible precautions and continuing with this way of thinking, I feel that I have come full circle to the way I felt before the virus.

In terms of work, I found working from home, and not having contact with colleagues and my clients difficult at first. I missed the banter and socialising that work provides me with. I was unable to undertake my usual activities with clients such as graded exposure, and working with them on WRAP plans; all activities such as meetings, presentations, training and interviews were suspended. All contact was now carried out by phones with clients, and by Microsoft Teams with colleagues. However, as time went on, I was able to go into work bases more, and obtain support, advice and help, which really helped my mood. I started to do weekly well-being calls with clients, which they really appreciated – I found that the amount of things that they were able and willing to do from themselves increased. We were able to start to complete WRAP plans by telephone – this allowed them to have a written plan of how they coped, and what tools they could use in the future to keep progressing and helped their mood and well-being as a result. I found that I was able to conduct mindfulness sessions by phone, which allowed them to feel that they were doing something positive for themselves, to help them get though the present, and to use in future.

It has now been a number of months since the lockdown started and I have found that hope and positivity have grown for both me and my clients, and we can proceed into the future with this in mind.

Submitted by John Johnson