Whatever age we are, the current pandemic has altered our lives immeasurably. No-one could have imagined living with the physical and emotional effects of voluntary lock down and social distancing. Our emotional experiences of being isolated from families, friends and local communities vary enormously according to our personal circumstances.
For some, the pandemic has imposed separations from loved ones at the very time we need them most. For those who live alone, this may have compounded feelings of vulnerability, lack of control, loneliness and loss – having no-one to hug or hold; grandparents unable to see their grand-children. And it can bring us face to face with our own mortality.
With bewildering speed, this pandemic has highlighted feelings and emotions that we may not have been fully aware of or which have arisen at a time of personal crisis, taking us back to other situations in our lives when we were alone, fearful about our health or the health of someone close to us.
Sharing our feelings and emotions with family members or friends may not always be possible or comfortable. You may feel, ‘I don’t want to bother them, they’ve got their own stuff going on.’ ‘They will want to make it better, but they can’t. All I want is just to talk about it’.
At times like this, it can help to talk with a counsellor.
The second half of our lives, from 50 onwards, often brings new challenges and transitions, including those related to work, family, older parents becoming more dependent, personal health and fitness, our sense of identity and value to others.
Some of us feel that if we have managed life’s challenges until now, we shouldn’t need counselling. It may take a significant life event – a personal health crisis, a bereavement, family issues, becoming the carer for a family member, or just feeling overwhelmed by life in general – before we feel the need for someone else to talk to.
Counselling is not going to remove the challenges you face. A counsellor can listen, support and enable you to find new ways of coping. This can make a real difference to how you feel about yourself, and can help you to identify and make the changes you feel you need to improve your life.