Connecting Space

Connecting Space


Here is why you might be feeling tired while on lock down

A lot of people have been posting on social media saying they have been feeling tired earlier than usual while on lockdown. Normally able to stay up into the small hours, they are hitting the pillow at 10 o’clock now. Many are wondering how this can be when we are all doing less.

The feelings of fatigue that you are experiencing are more likely to be related to the mental workload associated with COVID-19 rather than the physical burden. Fatigue can have both physical and non-physical causes. After we have completed a 5km run we deserve a rest, or after an illness we can feel run down and tired for a few weeks. 

But research has also shown that tiredness can be caused by psychological states, such as stress and anxiety. In the current situation, it could even be the monotony of the situation that causes us to feel tired. Therefore, dealing with the psychological strain associated with Coronavirus could be wearing us out. So how do we go about getting our energy back?

The phases of adjustment

When we look at major changes, such as students starting university or people moving to a new country, a period of adaptation and transition is needed. This takes time and comes in phases

The first week of adapting involves disengaging from former ways of living and working, and establishing new interactions. These are usually achieved by the fourth or fifth day, after which life begins to become more settled and predictable.

Keeping a journal of your feelings and thoughts can help see how you are progressing. Peshkova/Shutterstock

People in the first few weeks of lockdown may feel low and could be tearful. This is a normal adaptation stage. Please don’t worry too much but be reassured that this will pass for most people and next week you will feel better. Transition to a new environment can be helped by writing a reflective journal. It can be helpful to note down your thoughts and feelings. You can then review your progress and see how you adjust.

Full functional adaptation to a new way of life will happen after about three months. However, there is one period to be aware of that can occur around three weeks after the start, when a person can succumb abruptly to a bout of melancholy and a loss of morale. The worry in this case may be that the lockdown situation has now become permanent. But once this phase has passed these feelings of despondency tend not to return.

Prioritising structure

The next lesson on how to keep your energy up comes from observing people in survival situations. To avoid a drift into a state of apathy and feeling low and unmotivated, it is important to establish a clear structure to your day. Structure allows us to gain some control over our lives. It helps prevent a buildup of “empty” timethat could make you very aware of confinement, and cause a growing sense of “drift”. This can make people feel withdrawn and apathetic, sleep badly and neglect their personal hygiene.

One extreme case from the survival world shows the benefits of structure when we are suddenly faced with time to fill. In 1915, when Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance became trapped in the Antarctic ice, he imposed strict routines on his crew. He was well aware of a previous expedition ship, the RV Belgica, which had become trapped over winter in the Antarctic ice in 1898. The captain did not establish any routine and as a result the crew suffered from low morale, especially after the death of the ship’s cat, Nansen

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance. Wikimedia

Shackleton insisted on strict meal times and ordered everyone to gather in the officers’ mess after dinner to have an enforced period of socialisation. These scheduled activities prevented a social monotony that can occur when a small group of people are confined together for significant periods. 

So although it might feel good to have the odd morning lie-in, it is better for your energy levels to set up your day with a clear structure and make time for social activities, even if they need to be undertaken online.

Another non-physical cause of fatigue is anxiety. The pandemic has made people confused and uncertain, and given some a sense of trepidation. All these feelings can lead to poor sleep quality, which in turn can make people more tired and anxious

To break this cycle, exercise is a useful tool. Going for a walk or doing an online exercise class can make you feel physically tired but in the longer-term it will reduce feelings of fatigue as your sleep quality improves.

Planning ahead and setting goals is now both possible and necessary. Aim for a set future date for release from the lockdown but be prepared to reset that date as necessary. Being optimistic about the future and having things to look forward to can also help reduce anxiety and reduce fatigue.

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Uncategorized • Posted: April 7, 2020 10:36 am

Here to help

The UK government has officially called for a nationwide lockdown in a final attempt of managing and containing coronavirus and ultimately, freeing up the NHS and our medical services to treat those most in need. We must stay at home, leaving only for the essentials – food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home).

We are living in an uncertain and turbulent time. Guidance and news reports have been changing daily, so many of us understandably will be feeling unsettled and confused. Whether you were already undergoing mental health support or are experiencing new levels of distress, worry and anxiety as a result of this time, please know that help is available. You’re not alone in this, and nobody should feel they aren’t deserving or able to access support.

We are still providing Counselling ,Psychotherapy and Supervision support

As an alternative to Face to Face we are offering Online support which is a highly successful and effective. While it is different from a standard face-to-face session and may suit some people more than others, it allows you to access help whenever and wherever you are.

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Uncategorized • Posted: March 27, 2020 6:16 pm

Corona Virus

I know it is an uncertain time for everyone .

Hopefully this post will answer any questions you

 may have and put your mind at ease related to therapy

and supervision  .

We have an ethical duty to prevent harm to our clients ,

 it is important to strike a balance between taking appropriate

precautions while not causing undue concerns as some

 of you may feel increasingly anxious at this time.

At this stage we remain open offering face to face support

 and  we continue offering online and phone therapy as an alternative.

There are many simple steps that can be taken  to support

 our safety whilst meeting  face to face .

We are washing our hands thoroughly before and after clients 

 and  encourage all  clients to use the  hand sanitizer  provided .

We are disinfecting  door handles and hand rests of chairs

 and any equipment that has been in contact between clients.

There is plenty of space within the therapy room and it is 

possible to sit at a recommended distance .

Physical contact is to be avoided  .

We will air the therapy room between consults

We would ask if tissues are used within session that you

 take them home and dispose of them your self 

or place them  in the disposable bags provided .

We would ask if you or your household  fall in to the symptomatic 

or  at risk categorie to follow the guidelines given and self isolate .

Please let us know so that we can agree  a plan of support to suit you .

 This might be the option to put your therapy on hold to reschedule

 you appointment  or to continue  therapy through online and

 or telephone support .

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, News • Posted: March 18, 2020 9:02 am

New Venue

We moved from our base in Elland to our new premises in Halifax from March 2020

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Featured, News, Uncategorized • Posted: March 13, 2020 1:00 pm

Winter Blues

It’s the time of year when Trees take their sustinance back to their roots after their leaves fall

Birds Migrate

Animals take to their Dens

People search out warmth and comfort and reflect on the year passed and what the future may bring

As days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. All you want to do is stay in, curl into a ball, and eat.

Symptoms of a low mood

Symptoms of a general low mood may include feeling:

anxious or panicky
more tired than usual or being unable to sleep
angry or frustrated
low on confidence or self-esteem
A low mood often gets better after a few days or weeks.

January is considered the most depressing month of the year. The weather is cold and miserable, daylight is in short supply, you’ve got the post-holiday blues (disappointment that the holidays didn’t go well or having a hard time adjusting to work/school after leisurely holidays), and then there are the holiday weight gain and credit card bills that start to roll in. It makes perfect sense that many of us feel down in January and that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is at its peak this time of year.

It’s tempting to curl up on your couch, eat your favorite comfort food, and binge watch TV. This is fine on the occasional Sunday afternoon, but if you’re prone to depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s not going to be helpful on a regular basis.

Try these 15 behavioral strategies for challenging symptoms of winter depression or SAD.

Get out of the house. We spend much more time inside during the winter. Not only is all that sitting unhealthy, but it’s isolating and not mentally stimulating to spend many hours in your own house or apartment. A simple change of scenery can change your perspective on things. Be sure you get out every day no matter if it’s for a walk around the block, to a new restaurant, or to an appointment.15 ways to beat the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, depression
Laugh. There’s a reason that videos of giggling babies and dancing goats are so popular! They make us feel better by quickly shifting our focus onto something fun, hopeful, and uplifting.People who laugh often are more resilient and relaxed.
Say “no” to something you don’t want to do. All of my regular readers know that I’m a big believer in boundaries and the happiness boost that you can get from speaking your mind and choosing what’s right for you.
Give yourself a treat. Regular treats are another one of my favorite happiness boosters. Unlike rewards, treats don’t have to be earned. You simply give them to yourself because they make you happier. The only rule is that your treats have to be healthy. Sorry, fistfuls of potato chips don’t count (and they won’t make you feel better anyway).
Clear the clutter. Yes, your environment has an impact on your mood. Piles of mail and counters filled with clutter contribute to overwhelm and fatigue. A nice, neat space can be surprisingly helpful when you’re feeling down. If you’re lacking the motivation and energy to clean, just spend five minutes tidying up to get started.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Somethings really aren’t worth getting upset about. The key here is to know what really matters to you and try to keep things in perspective. I know this is a hard one. Letting go of the “small stuff” isn’t about denying your feelings or avoidance; it’s a conscious decision to put your effort into what matters to you and releasing things that are out of your control or are truly minor annoyances.
Put on your favorite playlist. Music has a huge impact on our emotional state. Music has a way of getting into your soul. Jam out to whatever kind of music you like. It doesn’t have to be “happy” or “uplifting” music to be therapeutic.
Spend time with your pets. If you have a pet, you already know that pets can be both fun and calming. When you’re feeling down, spend some extra time petting your cat or playing catch with your dog. You’ll both be happier!
Eat a healthy lunch (and an afternoon snack). Certainly, nutrition in general is important for physical and mental health. I’m focusing on lunch because I think it’s often neglected. Many of you don’t eat lunch at all! I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but I know from experience that when your blood sugar drops from not eating anything, your mood also drops (think about how irritable children get when they’re hungry, for example). And nutritional science does support that eating healthy foods at regular intervals will help you maintain a more positive and stable mood.
Mindfully use your senses to increase enjoyment of everyday life. When you’re busy and distracted, you take a lot of things for granted; you’re simply not paying attention to the little pleasures in life. Tuning into all of your senses and enjoying everyday experiences through taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound can add a new level of appreciation and enjoyment to them.
Move your body. One minute of gentle stretching or jumping jacks is enough to refocus your brain, get your blood flowing, and add some new energy to your languishing mood.
Buddy up. Most things in life are more fun when done with a friend. So, seize the opportunity to connect with a buddy (just make sure s/he’s got positive energy).
Write it out. Feelings need an outlet. Writing is a quick, safe, and effective way to process through what you’re feeling and what’s happening in your life. Writing can help you clarify your feelings, gain insight, and is a great way to release some of the “negative” feelings that you’ve been storing in your mind and body.
Turn on more lights. Light therapy is a non-invasive treatment often used for SAD that involves sitting in front of bright lights. Even if you don’t have SAD, simply turning on extra lights in your house or office can help improve your mood. It’s not a coincidence that we associate darkness with depression. The days really are dark this time of year, so brighten up your space and your mood by letting in natural sunlight when possible and turning on the lights.
Anticipate a fun-filled activity. Nothing gets your mind off of your problems, like having something to look forward to. If you can plan your next vacation, awesome! If not, there’s plenty to look forward to right in your own community. Consider buying tickets to a concert, plan a night out without the kids, or head to a movie you’ve been wanting to see. The key here is to find something that you’re really jazzed about doing and savor not only the experience, but the anticipation of doing it.

Recovering from the winter blues, SAD, or depressive symptoms always involves a combination of both honoring your feelings and actively giving yourself a little push to do something different. I hope you’ll find an idea or two from the list above that feels like a good place to start moving yourself toward more energy, happiness, and peace of mind.

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Uncategorized • Posted: December 2, 2019 7:59 pm

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