We said goodbye to the Gavin family from Mayo last week
Don’t you think the weeks just roll on? I am grateful that the weather has been good during the last week. Like many people, I find that the days and weeks are rolling in sameness without the variety of work, socialising and general freedom of movement beyond the 2km limit.
As things progress we get a deeper insight into the Operation Transformation – Keeping Well Apart families and their triumphs and struggles. We said goodbye to the Gavin family, Mary and her lovely daughters, from Castlebar in Mayo; what a lovely family they are and how fit and competitive, well done for taking part.
The family will look back at this time with both sadness and positive memories. There is sadness for Mary that her husband and son are overseas and positive memories with her lovely daughters all coming home and sharing time.
The Ryan/Mongey family, Dublin
This week I did a mindfulness session with daughter Lucy, a Leaving Cert student who is a brilliant young woman. Like Lucy you too can try this technique. Remember that mindfulness is about being in the present and not in the regrets of the past or the anxieties of the future.
Taking off her shoes and socks while doing the session, Lucy she sat with her feet on the grass. Put yourself there, imagine or do it – feel the grass the temperature, the texture, the sun on your body. Breathe in and breathe out.
Mum Emma she feels that she is losing her sharpness. I have invited her to try new things and I have sent her a ukulele! Lets see how she will get on!
Ann, who is cocooning by herself, is a character - fun, emotional, deep, sad at times, stressed and anxious at others. She is a combination of us all. Ann and our fitness expert Karl Henry are having great sport and Karl has a great surprise for Ann when it comes to her exercise – it’s going to be high and hot! More next week on this.
I have been working with Ann on her disturbed sleep and vivid dreaming and nightmares. I have suggested she journal and when it comes to dreams identify the emotions. Such emotions reflect being trapped and powerless. Such is the state for Ann when she is cocooning, and in her sleep and emotional life. This will pass.
The Ryans, Cappamore, Co Limerick
Things are progressing very well with Sarah and Dave who have a young family. They seem less stressed when putting into action each guidance.
Finding structure and routine has settled young son Cooper (4). We worked on Cooper getting along with his younger Charlie. When we target behaviours with children, we need to get beyond ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – and specifically target the behaviour we want, which is gentle play, using lots of positive reinforcement.
I am so glad that Sarah and Dave are involved in Operation Transformation – Keeping Well Apart as they are helping so many families in such incredible circumstances.
I have loads of great videos on the Operation Transformation website on coping with stress and anxiety. Check them out and remember every Thursday night I am on Facebook Live at 9pm where we can connect and get mutual support.
Psychologists including myself are concerned at multiple levels regarding the mental health impact of this Covid-19 pandemic. Stress, worry, disrupted grief, social isolation, and loneliness don’t make good bedfellows to our mood.
Remember there are great organisations out there ready to support. A Lust For Life (www.alustfor life.com) in partnership with TherapyHub.ie offer Psychological First Aid for those with emotional distress by accredited therapist and psychologists.
The Samaritans (116 123) are an incredible organisation who, 24-hours-a-day, offer a listening ear. With the Samaritans you always have a space a human connection – please don’t hesitate to call.
Remember it's OK not to feel OK and it's OK to ask for help.