Ann Brophy from Dublin was cocooning when she took part in Operation Transformation - Keeping Well Apart
Four weeks on and it’s the end of the fastest series ever of Operation Transformation. The households who took part in this year’s special Operation Transformation - Keeping Well Apart, gave us great insights into the real-world struggles people are undergoing during the Covid Pandemic.
Indeed. Reeling In The Years will possibly use this series to capture these strange moments in our life and in our nation's history.
Can we capture some positive or helpful memories about this situation? For many people, however, I accept there will be sadness, grief, isolation, a sense of restriction and loneliness associated with this period. I will be there to assist them each Thursday night at 9pm. We meet using Facebook Live for mutual sharing and support. If you are interested, visit my Facebook page at this time, where you can get help.
This week, I have tried to be more conscious about home drinking and taking less exercise. I have added a few ‘Covid Kilos’ as a result. It's something to be aware of, and be conscious that we should not slip into bad habits that add very little except less productivity.
It's great that there is a roadmap out of the Covid-19 restrictions. From a psychological point of view it provides some certainty in circumstances where uncertainty prevailed. This eases our stress and anxiety somewhat, but coming out of restrictions will cause some people’s stress to get worse again. We will deal that in future columns and provide practical tools for coping.
Here’s how our families got on in the final week of Operation Transformation - Keeping Well Apart, which aired last Wednesday on RTÉ One.
The Ryan-Mongey family, Dublin
This amazing family showed such creativity. The games of dress up in the house, the art, the baking, the drawing – if only I had 5% of that creativity! For daughter Lucy, the Leaving Cert dilemma is what concerns me, and for all Leaving Cert students. I am of the opinion that we need to go to predicted grades and if the student isn’t happy then they can sit an exam. The Leaving Cert is a ‘point-in-time' exam. It doesn’t measure resilience, team-working, passion, caring, and so much more. Our Leaving Cert students of 2020 deserve better.
Ann Brophy, Dublin
Ann was a favourite for all our cocooners. She wore her heart on a sleeve, as the expression goes, and we saw great joy, fear, isolation, sadness and laughs from her.
She is an amazing creative writer and her poem about silence enveloping her was profound. Ann ended up going out with Kathryn for that promised walk.
The key message from Dr Sumi, our expert GP, for all cocooners, is to take it easy and build your strength back up slowly. For me the themes for Ann that emerged were about the power of human connection, the presence and absence of touch, about the need for kindness and compassion.
Claire Beakhurst, Dublin
Claire has learned the art of cooking, something that she didn’t previously enjoy; and that she can be strong to support her daughter Emma to make healthier food choices.
For Claire to know that she will return to work has given her a lifeline.
This is what she enjoys most, instead of being the always on-mum – she gets a chance for adult company. The distance restrictions being lifted has given Claire the opportunity to walk to the beach. Oh how I would love to see the sea. In Laois we don’t have that luxury, so if you do, take a moment for me, please.
The Ryan family, Limerick
When we first met the Ryans they were a family under pressure. Dave talked about his ‘stress bar’ and his ‘happy bar’.
When his stress bar is up his happy bar is down – what a great analogy. I love the humour between David and Sarah, and for them lockdown is something to look back on as a family memory where they were deeply engaged with their children in a real way.
This is not a way of doing everything ‘right’, but doing it ‘good enough’.
Dave put a lovely tweet out saying that the support from Operation Transformation team really helps. He has learned that you have to take some time for your mental health. We are ‘apart but not alone’, he said - I couldn’t have put it better.
Operation Transformation – Keeping Well Apart – may have packed up its bags, but I will be here each week, to support you and answer any queries if you email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember too I am on Facebook Live at 9pm on Thursday night, where the antidote to fear is care and connection. Finally for your mental wellbeing, check out helpful videos that will remain on the RTE website www.rte.ie/OT.