During the recent pandemic figures from the National Office for Statistics published in May showed that the proportion of adults reporting psychological distress increased from a norm of 24.3 % in 2019 to 37.8% in April 2020. Since then we have had another year in which restrictions have predominated and work and the normal social routines have been very different.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a neurophysiologist and stress management expert, is quoted as reporting seeing very high numbers of people suffering burnout symptoms during lockdown. Initially, she reports it was related to anxiety about coping and feeling fearful of the new situation. More recently it has been about people feeling hopeless and uncertain and feeling stagnant. However, as people start to return to work, she sees a new wave building. “There is a new set of anxiety about doing such things as getting into workplaces. Our nervous systems have been over sensitized to possible danger by months of lockdown and pandemic fear, so this is starting to push people over the edge into a new form of burnout”
As restrictions are loosened, the challenges for individuals will be different but self-care and compassion is really important. In our guide, “Protecting your mental health and wellbeing” https://jonathansvoice.org.uk/resources a number of ways are suggested about how to do this. It includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, good sleeping patterns, eating well and being kind to yourself (pages 16 – 19).
The NHS Better Health every Mind Matters site has some very practical top tips for taking care of your mental health as things change.
Perhaps the most important of all the tips is “Tell someone how you feel” . You will certainly not be alone and there are people who will listen and support.
Remember, “It’s ok not to be ok”