Hello, how are you?

Does that image resonate?

Well, it does with me.

I am tired, however, there are reasons for that, and I have really good ways of looking after me and doing the all-important self-care thing that we do seem to postpone, neglect or ignore.

So, I know I need to do stuff to look after me.

Recharge.

Rest.

A dear friend sent me that image, we had been talking about how even the most laid back and chilled amongst us were feeling negative. Struggling with what might seem to be small stuff, intolerant and grumpy.

I am as human as you and despite being a Counsellor, where empathy and warmth are my most used work tools, I am finding that my tolerance levels are low: the red fuel light is on and that irritating beeping is becoming un ignorable.

Finding the stuff that works for us when we feel low is important, and as individuals with our own uniqueness, we need to recognise that one person’s yoga with goats with another person’s hell.

I know what works for me, you know what works for you. Unfortunately, sometimes for us all, the knowing is great, but we can have times where the motivation is zero, and at these times empathy and warmth and the kindness of others is incredibly impactful.

In therapeutic counselling we might call this of knowing what to do but being unable to start to do it, quite simply: being stuck.

It is annoying because we know what we should do but for a multitude of reasons we cannot do it.

Then we beat ourselves up for not doing it.

We feel guilty, useless and miserable.

Of course, in the current situation, knowing that a round of golf will lift you immeasurably is useless as we cannot play golf.

So, the current situation is throwing even the most self-reliant and resilient people off balance.

It is interesting to me that this Pandemic has thrown us all collectively off balance.

I would like to urge you to think about how for some of us a personal Pandemic comes along like a crisis, an illness, a broken relationship, and impacts on our whole life.

Like ripples on water the circles spread until they have touched everything, and the point of impact, the thing at the centre: the crisis, overwhelms us.

For some of us reaching out for help is unimaginable, terrifying and carries a heavy stigma.

I would ask you to consider how you feel now, during this collective and shared period of lost autonomy and fear.

Someone said the term “mental health” to me the other day and rolled their eyes as though these two words are being used too much.

Well, here my tolerance levels fall through the floor.

Come on!

if your car needed a service you would take it to a mechanic, you are not weak or stupid because you look after your car.

Why do we continue to stigmatise the pursuit of good mental health, as though topping up our own oil and changing our tyres is somewhat pathetic?

I am passionate about Counselling and will not apologise for being an advocate for having the courage to take that first step towards change.

Yes: courage.

My clients are courageous, brave and reflective: they are harnessing inner strengths they did not know they had.

I am incredibly proud of them.

There is no hierarchy of issue, the simple point of it is that the act of processing can help.

Taking our internal dialogue out of our heads and sharing our thoughts with a professional, qualified and ethical Counsellor will be challenging, but worthwhile.

My clients will be familiar with a favourite analogy I use.

Counselling is like shaking a snow globe, for a time you cannot see through the blizzard.

Eventually though, the snow settles. It may settle differently than before you shook it up. Things that were hidden are now visible and other things that have been processed are carefully coated in snow, you know where they are if you need to dig them up.

Sometimes, we all need to shake our snow globes.

Loads of love.

Anna x