Welly Wellness Blog – November 2020

Dear All,

I have been trying for a few weeks now to write a blog since we started back in school but to be honest, it hasn’t been easy.  Where do I start?  Do I talk about anxiety; stress; fear?  Do I talk about the coronavirus and its affect on us all?  Do I talk about transition for students, not only for our new students, but also from one year group to the next without actually having finished the last year? 

The list has been so long that I have just not been able to focus on it at all.

So this morning on my way into work I heard the word “fluidity” being discussed on the radio and that is what I thought I would write about.

“Fluidity  – the quality of being likely to change repeatedly and unexpectedly

Life has been totally out of anyone’s control over the last few months and everyone has an opinion and a story to tell.  I have had many sessions with both adults and young people talking about their anxieties and the levels of stress they are dealing with in these crazy, uncertain and troubling times.

Often in the school environment we talk about resilience.  It is one of those words that it thrown around a lot when dealing with young people.  We hear a lot about the need to teach our children to be “resilient” and to be able to “cope” with what is thrown their way.  It is a part of growing up.

How are we doing as a nation, or even as a global community right now in coping?  How is our resilience?

Well, I for one have had my moments and have had to lie down in a dark room and feel helpless and very small in light of what is going on in the world right now.

So back to FLUIDITY.  Why do we always feel like we need to be okay, happy, able to manage all the time?  The truth is that we feel many different things over the course of a day, a week, even on an hourly basis our emotions may change and that affects our mood and our mindset. 

I speak to many parents, carers, teachers and friends about how to help our young people cope in these times.  The truth is we really can’t apart from understanding and passing on the wisdom in knowing that we move along our days in a state of fluidity (I try to explain it like a river that is constantly moving) and whilst we may wake up feeling okay, when we get to school or work that can change, and then we may flit from feeling anxious to stressed to happy to playful and so it goes on.

The only thing we know for sure right now is that we just don’t know what is around the corner… but whatever it is we will be waiting for it and we will all get through it as we always do.  The human psyche is just able to cope with whatever is thrown at us – it is our survival instinct.  We may feel sad, anxious and stressed out about it but that is normal and it is okay.  We do not need to FIX anything and we don’t need to FIX the way we feel because the feelings will pass – we just need to be patient and let the feelings work their way through our mind.

One of the most practical and useful things I relay to the young people I see is that it is okay to feel however you feel right now.  When you try to fight away your feelings that is when you become more anxious, stressed and low. That is how panic attacks happen, when we try to hold in feelings they just end up exploding out of us either in a panic attack or even sometimes making us physically ill.   However you feel just go with it…. However much you want to be in control of everything, just try and let it go… it is very liberating and makes you realise that you are not solely responsible for everything and everybody.   

So, in a nutshell, we are all in this together.  Listen to your child, student, niece, nephew, friends, family members.  Start a conversation about how scary everything is and that we ALL feel wobbly at certain moments but it’s okay!

Thanks

Debbie – School Counsellor