What are the ways we can boost our emotional wellness?

October is ‘Emotional Wellness Month’ – and you can find a lot more information about that on my ‘Emotional Wellness’ page.

In this post I want to share some of the ways I know can help you to manage your own emotional wellness, and improve your emotional wellness when you are struggling – which a great many of us are right now.

Sources of wellness

Having a purpose

This could be family oriented, it could be an educational programme, a professional environment or a goal you are working towards in some way; having a purpose, a reason to get out of bed and do things each day is hugely rewarding, and it will improve not only your emotional wellness but your overall physical health in the long term too.

Hobbies and stress relieving activities

Having something that you enjoy and which you commit time to and derive pleasure from is incredibly important. Hobbies may be seen as frivolous by some, but they are actually vital in giving our lives some shape, colour and variety, and a series of small achievements which bring you joy. This could be something artistic, an exercise, a class or club, creative pursuits, meditation, even simply meeting friends regularly for a chat and a gossip!

Factoring activities which bring you pleasure, which give you chance to try new things or to meet new people, or which take you outside of your ‘ordinary’ routine are guaranteed to improve your emotional wellness.

Physical activity

This doesn’t mean you should join a gym and start training for a power lifting championship – it depends very much on the lifestyle you already live and your physical health. For some, it does mean running a marathon – for others it means climbing the stairs rather than taking the lift, walking to the corner shop, a bike ride with the children, playing in the park with a dog – but any kind of activity, anything which gets your body moving, raises your heartrate a little, perhaps has you breathing heavier, will not only mean you maintain a higher standard of physical health, it will also release endorphins in your body which give you a mental and emotional boost. It literally makes you happier, because you receive a boost of happy hormones – and exercise outdoors is even better, as it gives you a connection to the outside world, a chance to see some nature and wildlife, all of which increase those endorphins.

Spend time with others

When we are struggling emotionally it is common that we withdraw; we make excuses to avoid friends and gatherings, we stop texting or calling people, and we even stop posting on social media. Sometimes this is simply that we feel too tired or overwhelmed, and sometimes it is because we are comparing how we feel to what we are seeing of other people’s lives on platforms like Instagram or Facebook.

Remember that what you see on social media is a very heavily edited version of someone’s life, and you aren’t getting the full picture – so you can’t compare fairly.

As the pandemic has impacted how much time we can spend with people physically it’s even more important than ever before to reach out by other methods; the connection we have with our friends and family, the communication with loved ones, is proven to be a significant factor in our wellbeing – and when we are struggling it’s easy to feel like we are a burden or weight on them – but remember that your thoughts may not be reflective of the truth, and that people care for you and want to help. Text someone if you don’t feel ready to call, and let someone who loves you know that you are struggling. Remember that if the roles were reversed and you knew that someone you cared for was feeling overwhelmed, you would want to help, and that people won’t want you to struggle alone.

Sleep, rest and heal

Sleep is one of the most powerful ways in which we can heal ourselves, body and mind. Disrupted sleep is a huge indicator of emotional and mental ill health, so try to give yourself a healthy routine for sleep. Perhaps speak to a GP if you have been struggling for some time with poor sleep, but there are ways to help yourself naturally.

Stick to a regular schedule; try to go to bed at a similar time each night and wake at a similar time each morning; your body will come to expect sleep in those times and be ready for it. Avoid caffeine or alcohol, which are stimulants, and for at least an hour before you go to bed avoid any electronic screens – the blue light disrupts sleep patterns. Have a warm drink (herbal tea or your favourite decaf option), perhaps a bath or shower, read a book somewhere dimly lit and comfortable, and if you find yourself getting anxious about anything you need to do, write a list in a notebook beside your bed so that you have an action plan for the morning; there is nothing so urgent that it can’t wait until then.

Meditation

You can see in this image the benefits of meditating – this is another incredibly powerful way to boost your emotional and mental wellness – as well as your physical wellness; stress and anxiety have a physical impact on our bodies – so meditation and mindfulness will limit and reduce the damage that these fears and stress are causing, and help to protect you against them long-term.

There are a great many resources online for guided meditations if you aren’t familiar with the process; YouTube has many videos which are free to access; one of my favourites is ‘Great Meditation’ where you can find a lot of videos for different meditation goals. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN4vyryy6O4GlIXcXTIuZQQ )

Seeking help and support

If you feel that your emotional wellness is struggling at the moment, you don’t need to struggle alone – there are many ways that you can access help and support. I offer talking therapy for people who have suffered trauma or abuse, or who are simply feeling overwhelmed by the weight of what has been a very difficult year. You can contact me to discuss the things you’re struggling with, and I can help you to find coping strategies and protect yourself from the damage that stress and anxiety have on your long term health.

Email me on amandaburbidge-counselling@outlook.com call me or message via WhatsApp on 07849 037095, contact me via this website or chat to me on Facebook 

World suicide prevention day – September 10th

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) have long campaigned to raise awareness for suicide, and the work that we can all do to support those with suicidal thoughts.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day – and I truly believe that we can all do our part to raise awareness of the impact that suicide can have, not only on those who struggle with those thoughts and who perhaps attempt to take their own lives, but also on those who are supporting suicidal or victims of suicide.

There are a lot of misconceptions about suicide – and it’s so important that we all speak more openly and honestly about how those dark thoughts can impact lives, and how mental health challenges as a whole are universal; ill mental health can impact anyone, no matter their circumstances.

Some statistics about suicide

Recent years have shown an increase in the number of deaths from suicide – not only in the UK but globally.

In the UK men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women; this raises to four times more likely in the Republic of Ireland. The highest suicide rate for men by age is in the 45-49 bracket across the UK and, on average, 13 men will take their own lives every day in the UK.

In young people, particularly in the under 25 range, the most recent statistics show an increase of almost 24% in the rate of deaths by suicide; this is a huge, and very worrying, climb which shows that young people are under incredible pressure – and this is a concern we need to address more directly. In Scotland this figure is an even more concerning 52.7% – the highest it has been for many years.

Why do we have a Suicide Prevention day?

Some question whether a day focused on speaking about suicide will ‘plant the idea’ – but as counselling and psychology professionals, we know that speaking honestly about those thoughts allows people to feel less alone and overwhelmed, and find support and tools to find a way through them, rather than acting on them.

Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally, for people of all ages and from all backgrounds.

 This means that every 40 seconds, another person takes their own life.

These deaths don’t just impact the victim, but also their family, friends, colleagues, loved ones; the impact is wide reaching and life long. In fact, for every death by suicide, an average of 135 people are impacted and suffer with grief, guilt and associated trauma.

When you see that this means over 108 million people per year are profoundly impacted by suicide, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide and suicidal ideation, we have to recognise that this is a significant and avoidable amount of trauma which, with honest and open discourse, we can reduce significantly.

What are the signs someone might be suicidal?

There are a lot of signs, and most important to know is that any threats of suicide or voicing suicidal statements should be taken very seriously.

Signs that you should look out for and be aware of include:

  • Excessive sadness, moodiness or mood swings
  • Hopelessness
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Suddenly very calm after a period of depression
  • Withdrawal from social activities and work commitments
  • Unusual changes in personality or appearance
  • Risky behaviour
  • Self harming
  • Recent trauma or crisis
  • Making preparations or ‘putting life in order’
  • Threatening or talking about suicide

This is not a comprehensive list, and if you notice any concerning changes in someone you care about please don’t hold back from asking if they are ok, if they need support, or reaching out to a body or person you think could intervene for their protection.

What if I have suicidal thoughts?

One of the biggest dangers of suicidal thoughts is that, when we are in a dark place mentally, they can seem like an entirely logical solution to overwhelming feelings. The despair a person feels can entirely isolate them from their loved ones and avenues to support – so it’s important to check in on people and, when you find yourself in that frame of mind, to recognise that it will pass, and that it isn’t a true representation of our circumstances.

Reaching out to loved ones and friends can help – but it can also be very difficult.

There are a number of helplines which can be called free of charge if you are having suicidal thoughts:

Samaritans – for everyone

Call 116 123

Email jo@samaritans.org

 

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men

Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day

Visit the webchat page HERE

 

Papyrus – for people under 35

Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm

Text 07860 039967

Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

 

Childline – for children and young people under 19

Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill

 

Get through today one breath at a time

 If you are struggling today, here are some tips to move through the crisis:

  • Concentrate on right now, not on the future
  • Don’t make any plans to act on the impulse
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol or any mood impacting substances
  • Go to a safe place – this could be your own bedroom, a friend’s house, a crisis centre etc
  • Talk to someone – a friend, family member, helpline or professional
  • Be around other people – if socialising feels too overwhelming, simply being in public can help
  • Engage in an activity you find soothing – watch a film, read a book, do a craft, go for a walk
  • Spend time with a pet if you have one
  • List positive things in your life; avoid falling into a negative list, focus on the good things
  • Exercise
  • Do something which relaxes you – walk in nature, take a bubble bath, meditate

You may well have felt this way before – and you know that it passes, even though it may not seem that way in the moment.

Help is available

Whether you have previously experienced professional support or not, there is no shame or barrier to accessing help when you are struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Whether you choose to call one of the helplines included above, your own GP, a family member or a counselling professional, you deserve and are worthy of help and support.

You do not need to battle these thoughts and fears alone – and there is nothing you can think or say which will prevent you from accessing or deserving this help.

If you would like to speak to me and work together on creating a crisis strategy, a wellness plan and work through the issues or incidents which may have caused your suicidal thoughts, please reach out to me through this website, via phone (call, text or WhatsApp on 07849 037095) or email me on amandaburbidge-counselling@outlook.com

For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day and how you can help loved ones who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, visit the IASP website https://www.iasp.info/wspd2020/

 

 

 

 

Anxious about the new term, and life outside of lockdown

This has been a very peculiar year, hasn’t it?

Families across the world have been impacted, and have had to deal with all kinds of changes, challenges and routines which are so far from what we are used to – and I know that most of us are still processing all of those changes. Now it’s time to start processing some more, as children across the UK return to school, students back to colleges and universities, and those who have been working from home for the last six months make plans to return to offices.

Don’t think that you’re alone in being anxious about these changes, and about the safety and well-being of your families and loved ones as they go back out into the world and mix with their peers again.

Whilst there are many practical steps being taken in all of these environments to protect people (increased cleaning, social distancing, one way systems, hand sanitising stations) and we can reassure ourselves with these practical acts – which we know are going to do a lot to protect many people from any risk of infection or harm – I know that anxiety doesn’t always care about practicalities or facts.

Those little voices that whisper at the back of our mind about the dangers, the risks, the fears we are carrying, don’t go quiet simply because we have facts to shout back at them!

So what can we do to challenge those anxieties, and to support our own mental well-being and that of our loved ones and families as life moves into the next phase of the Coronavirus pandemic, and how we function through it?

Reminding ourselves of those practical steps is a good first step. For example; “I am worried about my child being in a class with other children” can be challenged with “but they will be in one seat at a sterilised, safe desk, distanced from others; the will have their own hand sanitiser and know how to properly wash their hands.”

“I am worried about travelling to work on public transport” can be met with “but I have my own mask, I can maintain a physical distance between myself and others and, where that is difficult, our masks will reduce the risk. I have sanitiser in my pocket and contactless payment for my journey.”

When anxiety builds and you begin to feel panic or overwhelm, try to find coping techniques to get you through that moment:

  • Breathing exercises can calm your heart rate
  • Grounding techniques can stop your mind spiralling into negative thoughts
  • Remove yourself from any crowded or busy public space for a few minutes
  • Wear headphones to reduce external sensory input
  • Wear a mask in public areas
  • Carry your own wipes and alcohol gel so that you can protect yourself from germs
  • Remind yourself that you have remained safe so far, and will remain safe because you have taken the right steps

Many people are finding that they coped well during lockdown, because they had the focus of their family and were busy throughout. Now that life is returning to some semblance of ‘normal’ and we are under less pressure, the need to ‘cope’ well is reduced – and we are actually struggling more without that constant need.

This is entirely normal, and very common; crisis brings crisis management techniques, and only once the crisis has passed do we feel the fear and overwhelm of the situation we just lived through.

This is a great time to reach out to your support networks; family and friends, occupational health, your GP and professional counselling, which can help you to process that trauma in a healthy way and move through the stages of what is, essentially, grief and fear.

Small acts of self care can help you to re-centre and reduce anxiety, and give you some inner reserves to get through the next weeks. Never underestimate the power of small kindnesses – for yourself or for those you love.

I can help you with the anxieties of moving back into the world, and I can help you to find coping methods for those moments of overwhelm. I can also  give you tools to support those you love with their own worries, without harming yourself by taking on the weight of other people’s emotional well-being and need.

Contact me through this website, on the phone on 07849 037095 (as a call, a text or via WhatsApp) or by email on amandaburbidge-counselling@outlook.com – you don’t need to struggle alone with your worries; I can help.

 

Action for happiness July calendar

Each month I would like to share the Action for Happiness calendar, which has some wonderful, small actions each day of the month to help you to focus on your mental wellbeing and emotional health.

This month’s focus is resilience – and you can download the image below or follow the link I’ve included underneath to download a copy of the calendar directly into your digital devices, so that you can see reminders each day to focus on your resilience, and take a moment to mindfully be kinder to yourself.

You can find more information on Action for Happiness here.

I also wrote an article recently about boundaries – and that would be a great place to read more about how to build resilience, and what I can do to help you with that. Read more about boundaries here.

You can get in touch with me here if you would like to know more.

Your personal boundaries are so important

An area that many people struggle with is setting personal boundaries, and with maintaining those boundaries in their relationships, day to day without letting others influence them.

If you have no boundaries in place, it could stem from never having learned how, never being enabled to, or being afraid to. It could be because your self-worth has been eroded through neglect, control or abuse, or that you never had the emotional support needed to value your needs.

How does losing – or not having – boundaries impact us?

 First and foremost – it’s painful. It’s painful, because we are always giving too much of ourselves away, with no regard for our limits, and people take without giving in return.

It is also exhausting, draining – emotionally, mentally and – as a result – often physically too. All of the energy and drive we have is poured from us into others, or taken from us by others, and we have nothing left in reserve for caring for ourselves or meeting our own needs.

If you keep finding that an environment is leaving you feeling drained, emotionally bruised and demotivated, it’s likely that it’s because your boundaries aren’t in place in that environment, so your energy and emotional health are being depleted by those around you.

 Your boundaries are personal to you – and they may change or move over time

 We all grow and change in time, and that’s a normal and healthy part of life.

What is also normal and healthy is to have views, values and emotional responses which determine our personal boundaries, and what we are and are not comfortable doing.

If you have been subjected to any kind of controlling behaviour, oppression or abuse then it can be even more challenging to identify your own boundaries, outside of that environment – and all the more difficult to enforce them with the people within that environment. Even once you have left those situations or environments behind, establishing and maintaining your boundaries is difficult, because you’ve not had an opportunity to build and live with them before – so you are unsure even how to start.

 Enforcing your boundaries is important

 It can be challenging and daunting enforcing your boundaries. Saying “no” to someone who is used to only hearing “yes” from you, and standing firm despite their reaction, is hard – and they may push back and be angry. If they are, that shows that they have been taking advantage of you, and that they are willing to override your wellbeing for their own benefit.

Sometimes when we begin to enforce our boundaries we find that some relationships may be lost – and that can be terribly sad. Unfortunately, some relationships have to be a learning experience for us, and be left behind as we build on our own self-worth and growth – and if someone can’t learn to respect and value your boundaries, and grow with you, then you may need to let them go in order to protect yourself.

I can help you to identify, establish and reinforce your personal boundaries

If you would like some support with boundaries – whether you simply need to build your resilience in order to stand more, or whether you need to start from the beginning by identifying what your boundaries might be, I can help you with the process.

You can also read more about personal boundaries – how they could be eroded, what situations show whether you are being taken advantage of, how to begin to identify and build your own boundaries, and whether it’s ever ok to change your mind (it is!) – on my boundaries website page, where you can also find resources and activities which might help you.

Get in touch with me – you can contact me through this website, on my Facebook page, on my phone number – 07849 037 095 – either as a phone call or via WhatsApp video – or email me on amandaburbidge-counselling@outlook.com   – and let me help you to be a happier, more confident self who believes in their own value.

United Nations/WHO World Drug Day – June 26th

 

 

There has been immense focus in the media on the fears around the Covid-19 virus and the immediate impact of people being isolated in their homes – but today, with the United Nations/WHO World Drug Day awareness campaign, I want to talk a little about the unseen impact that this enforced isolation and ‘lockdown’ have been having in tens of thousands of homes across the country.

Whilst the media is talking about the challenges of working from home, or home-schooling children, of getting groceries or being lonely without family to visit, most stories have glossed over the realities of what many people are turning to, to ‘cope’ with these pressures.

Behind closed doors, drug and alcohol use have increased on an enormous scale – and those who were battling with sobriety may have fallen off the wagon. People are slipping into dependence on substances which numb them to the pressure and anxiety of the situation we are living in, and that dependence is impacting their lives in other ways.

With increased drug and alcohol use we see huge pressure within homes and relationships – families are fighting, couples are hurting, children are witnessing and being subjected to abuses, and as the virus continues to spread the services which would usually be in place to protect these vulnerable victims of addiction and substance abuse simply can’t provide the support that is needed.

The UK is in crisis – with mental health services more stretched than ever, and experts predicting that the lasting impact of the pandemic on the nation’s mental health will be significant – and those turning to drugs and alcohol are already in need of help that this stretched service may never be able to provide.

Though the statistics for deaths caused directly by the Coronavirus are slowing, experts believe that the lockdown designed to prevent the spread of disease may cause more deaths than the virus itself.

Negative coping methods – alcohol, drugs, tobacco – are seeing the emergence of new addictive behaviours, and increased numbers of those displaying these behaviours – which is very concerning, and likely to continue increasing.

A phenomenon which is being called “Deaths of despair” – deaths from overdoses, alcohol related incidents and illnesses, suicide and abuse – are skyrocketing alongside deaths caused directly by the Coronavirus.

It’s vital that access to mental health care is improved and that people are able to receive the help and support that they need without the long waiting lists and barriers that people are seeing at the moment.

Though the mental health provisions in the UK have been under pressure for many years, with reductions in budgets and access being limited in many areas, the impact of the current situation will be seen across all health and social services for years to come, and is causing significant harm both to those dealing with drug and addiction issues, and to their families – and this crisis absolutely must be faced and managed, before it leads to more avoidable deaths.

I am an experienced specialist, and have worked with those living with addiction and substance issues – and I know that it’s a complex and multi-faceted situation which needs to be carefully managed, with support to face the pain and trauma behind the addictive behaviours, as well as those behaviours themselves.

I am here to help – and available to offer counselling support to anyone who is struggling with any drug or substance abuse, or who is impacted by the addictive behaviours of others. I can offer video calls to give counselling whilst you are unable to meet face to face, and to support you even during the continued lockdown restrictions.

 

 

Don’t suffer alone – call me today for some support.

You can contact me through this website, on my Facebook page, on my phone number – 07849 037 095 – either as a phone call or via WhatsApp video – or email me on amandaburbidge-counselling@outlook.com

Grief vs Loss

Grief and loss – particularly now – need to be treated as equals.

Often the words grief and loss are used interchangeably – people use both when they speak about the grief of losing a loved one, a family member, a friend and even a pet – but there are some differences between the two which mean they should be approached differently.

Grief is what we feel when there is a bereavement – when someone or something dies, and we are left reeling with a sequence of different emotions and reactions, varying states, which take us from the initial shock through to, eventually, acceptance, and the state where we are able to continue with our lives bearing the scars of this grief.

Loss is different – and applies to far more than reacting to a death. Loss is a similar sequence of emotions, of reactions, of processes – but for different events.

One clear example currently is the loss of our freedom and social lives, as we are all encouraged to remain at home during the Coronavirus situation.

The impact of this ‘lockdown’ means that we are, as a nation – as a world population – facing significant losses. Of work, of income, of routine, of social interaction and confidence in our lives. Of education and training. Of comfort and security.

We are seeing overwhelming news reports, feeling fear and anxiety, and limited to interacting only with the people within our homes – which, for a great many, is just them alone – or, for some, is with people who are controlling or abusive – meaning that they have also lost their opportunities to escape those dangers or recover outside of the home from the traumatic environment.

Where ‘loss’ is disregarded is when people begin to compare their loss with those of others. For some, the loss of routine means they can relax, sit back and indulge in whatever whim takes their fancy. For others, the loss of routine creates enormous anxiety and pain.

For some, the loss of freedom to leave the house is merely inconvenient, and for others it means they are incredibly isolated, or even in danger.

Loss – no matter what it is you are losing – is not something which can be compared. Pain and loss aren’t weighed on a scale – and if we always compare, there will always be someone who has experienced something ‘worse’ or who hasn’t experienced a reality as damaging as ours – which is why we ought never to dismiss the responses to loss that another feels.

The truth of pain is that the worst pain you have ever experienced is the worst pain you have ever experienced. The greatest loss that has impacted you is your greatest loss. These are not things we should ever compare to those of others – because dismissing or disregarding other people’s pain, or allowing people to do the same to ours, prevents us from being able to find coping mechanisms in a healthy way.

Loss – whether on a global scale, or of a small, domestic routine which brings you peace – is painful – and the only way that we are able to move through it, process it, and take the steps through the stages of emotional response is by voicing our struggles, supporting one another in difficult times, and reaching out for support when we need it.

Grief is what we experience in response to a death – but loss is no less significant, and the pain we feel in response to loss can be overwhelming and can impact the shape of our lives permanently, particularly if we somehow believe that our pain is insignificant, or if it is belittled by others.

Remember that now is not a time to increase the pressure on yourself to do or be anything more than who you are; a global pandemic is a time to give yourself space to just be – to survive, to focus on your needs – physically and emotionally – without worrying about achieving more, setting goals, growing or creating.

Now is a time to simply meet your basic needs, and to let other concerns take a back seat: this graphic is a great reminder.

If you are struggling with the losses I’ve discussed here, or are in need of a safe place to speak about worries and fears, or the current situation has brought previous trauma to the surface, please don’t suffer alone.

You can speak to me any time – simply fill in the contact form or send me a message on Facebook or via call or text on 07849 037095; I am doing all of my counselling sessions via WhatsApp video calls, so that you can still speak ‘face to face’ and receive support, and don’t have to sit with your head full of concerns you have nowhere to voice.

 

Active coping from action for happiness

We are all facing a bigger challenge than we could have predicted for the year – and action for happiness are helping by giving us some lovely, little, mindful actions and a different focus for each day to help to keep the negative thoughts away.

Remember that if you are struggling, I am offering all of my counselling sessions via video calling, so you can still get the face to face support you need. Just get in touch to let me know what times work for you, and I can call you.

Coping through the Coronavirus pandemic

It’s important to me that we all do all we can to help each other during the worry and isolation of this Coronavirus pandemic – and I’m trying to share links and resources with my followers and clients as much as possible, so that we can all keep our mental health in check, maintain our emotional wellbeing, and help those more vulnerable than ourselves wherever we can.
I thought it would be helpful to put all of these resources in one place so that you can find them easily, and every time I find something new that I think helps – whether it’s something scientific, an app you can use to maintain your mindfulness and mental health, a news story or just a video to put a smile on your face – you will find it here – and I’ll share the link on my channels so you don’t miss anything.
Here is a very clever database being built: it takes one minute – or less – and can help to track and predict the spread to better enable our health workers to fight it:
 
Self-report daily.
Help slow the outbreak.
Identify those at risk sooner.
 
Help our scientists identify:
 
High-risk areas in the UK.
Who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions.
How fast the virus is spreading in your area
 
This is a very simple, but clever, DIY face mask – please do remember that I’m not a medical expert, and that this won’t protect you from all harm – but it may give some reassurance and protection when you’re popping out to the shops.
This next link is a lovely – and free – course for mindful emotion coaching:
https://www.openlearning.com/courses/mindful-emotion-coaching/HomePage/
Here you can find a completely free weekly online mindfulness session – the first is today (March 25th) from 7-8pm and the website will give you information on the next sessions
If these ones aren’t at times you can do, there’s a resource here with a schedule of other sessions at a range of times – the times are American, so factor the time difference in (for example 7am ET – Eastern Standard Time – is 11am GMT)
these are held via Zoom, and there’s a simple link to click; if you’ve never used Zoom before do click the link ten minutes or so in advance or as soon as you’re able, and follow the instructions to install it on your phone, computer or tablet – it’s very simple and user friendly and guides you through each step so don’t be daunted!
Adams Psychology Services have their own page of resources to help during these trying times too – which is  a fabulous help for those just looking for coping mechanisms.
For those with children – particularly younger ones – this printable, downloadable resource is a superb way to explain the coronavirus to children, and to help them to understand how it spreads and the importance of hand washing
Another great way to explain proper handwashing techniques was shared by a Doctor on his Twitter account – watch this video and see just how much your usual, casual wash is missing! The video is in Italian – but you don’t need to understand the words to see clearly what the message is!
You can find all my latest posts and shares on my Facebook page – where you can also post messages for other people to smile at or share, and I will reply to as many as I can

All counselling can be continued via video and phone calls.

For everyone worried about the Coronavirus, and the ongoing impact on life’s regular routines and needs, whether you need to self-isolate or we hear the announcement from Government that we, like Italy, will need to be ‘on lockdown’, all quarantined in our own homes, I want to assure you that I am still here to support you.

If you usually see me face to face for counselling, or have been considering arranging some counselling support in the near future, or have seen your anxiety increase and would like some support, I am maintaining my appointments as video or telephone consultations.

Every appointment can be carried out via a Facebook Messenger call, or as a WhatsApp call – calling via these services is free (as long as you are connected to wifi; if you use pay as you go data please do inform me so I can be sure to be calling you, to prevent you incurring additional costs)

I know that things are very worrying right now – and it’s important that you know that I am still here for you, ready to support you and your needs no matter what happens.

None of us have lived through a situation like this one before – nobody knows quite what’s going to happen, or what the short and long term changes to our lives will be. Don’t try to face it alone – and don’t be afraid to reach out to me.

Though it’s not the same as being able to help you in person, I will continue to support every single person who needs it via these video calls or phone calls, whichever is your preference.

Call, text or message me here and let me know which is the best way to keep in touch with you.

If you aren’t already one of the people I support, but you are seeking someone safe to speak to about any worries you may have, or are seeing your mental and emotional wellbeing suffer as a result of this pandemic, and the impact it is having on our routines, our working lives, the health and wellbeing of the people we love, don’t feel like you need to cope alone. If we are quarantined or self-isolating, it could become a very lonely time – so reach out. I can help you to find the best coping mechanisms and help you to feel stronger and more ready to face the coming weeks and months.

You can find all of my contact information on the contact page;

We can get through this uncertainty, together.

All my best wishes,

Amanda Burbidge.