Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash
It almost goes without saying that the coronavirus lockdown has a far reaching impact across many levels of society. As a therapist, I was able to start seeing clients again in late July, meaning I had a four month break since lockdown was first introduced. What I have seen in my clients since starting up again is not something I could have predicted. The impacts vary from client to client, however, one thing is for sure: not one of them was left unscathed.
Looking solely at how lockdown has impacted individuals on emotional and mental wellbeing, there are three general themes that I have noticed in my clients. Sometimes a client will present with just one of these being prominent, others have had a mixture.
Some were stuck in small tenement flats, others had a bit more room and their own gardens. Outdoor access was severely limited to all in the early stages and this continued for those who were shielding for so much longer. You may have been furloughed for some weeks or months, with all routine and structure taken away. For many of us, our lives as we knew them were either on hold or completely cancelled.
Left at home for long periods of time, potentially with very little to keep them satisfactorily occupied, a sense of stagnation crept in. This stagnation is not just due to the more sedentary lifestyle that occurred. Much of the activity, buzz and vitality in life was halted. Depressions set in. Comfort food was consumed. Old habits that were kept at bay reignited. In many ways, life became stale and stuck, with little hope and plenty of uncertainty.
Whether stuck at home with their significant others, their families or in complete physical isolation - or even working in the intensive care unit - amplification of discord is the second clear theme.
Relationship difficulties came to the surface. Grief, long left unprocessed, found room to bubble up. Dissatisfaction with a living arrangement, family dynamic or career direction could no longer be ignored. All these issues were given room and amplified - often in a very unwelcome and traumatic manner.
This theme often links in with amplification, but not always. The opportunity to reflect on one's life was not missed by people who experience clarifications. The clarification could be to do with how they spend their time, who they spend their time with or a honing of their individual sense of purpose and meaning.
What has struck me is that all three of these themes are things that Zero Balancing can help with. In correspondence with one of my teachers recently, he said the following:
"ZB [Zero Balancing] is an ideal therapy for anybody emerging from the restrictions of lockdown or who are left feeling ‘out of touch’, disconnected from life or unsettled in themselves. I’ve also been impressed by its ability to aid the larger healing of clients coming out of mental health crises, particularly where medication has tried to control them but not really ‘touched’ the nature of their disturbance."
I got a shiver of recognition when I first read that, and it still rings true now. If you are interested in seeing if Zero Balancing can help you in these uncertain times, please get in touch.