The white mattress lies right in front of me, leaning into the wall. Small buttons run parallel along its surface, creating creases looking like small valleys. The soft white color soothes my mind. My son is nursing, and I am filled with gratitude. I can see his small hand milking an imaginary breast. His fingers are tiny, his thumb the shape of a triangle. Looking at his hand, I remember how his soft and warm skin feels when it closes around my finger when he is afraid and needs comfort.
Sometimes I stress. There is so much to do and too little time. I constantly crave stimulation, feeling bored without it. And then. Moments like these. When I remember what life is all about. When sensations arrive one at a time, making it possible to take them in. It makes all the difference, because focusing intently on one thing makes it easier for emotions to come forward and the body to react. Too much stimulation leaves no space for the unconscious. Like an overcrowded stadium of people, feelings drown in noise and slip away.
When I remember my past, the memories coming forward are all rich with details. Without sensations, I would probably never have remembered the events. I don´t have many memories, maybe because I spent so much time inside my head instead of looking around.
Living my life today, I try to use my senses more. When old, I want to feel I have lived my life to the fullest, and that means being present.
My son reminds me all the time of the importance of being in the now. His fascination of what he sees and touches makes me interested too. That brings a whole new level to everyday life, a true antidote to depression and negative feelings.
I want to write about covid-19 for the simple reason that it effects all of us. We are in an unique situation that brings uncertainty and fear to many, problems we thought were big before are for some lessened, as we slowly realize what a crisis can be. People loose their job, their security and are isolated, and that is really hard for lonely people. My sister had to be collected by our mum because she sat alone at home and struggled with not seeing anyone for so many days. What with all that where struggling before the society as we know it is changing. I am wondering how people are around the globe! Are they afraid? Will life become even harder in the aftermath? What will it do to us? I hope people are safe and have people to talk to if need be. Never be afraid of reaching out to those who are willing to help, because luckily many still want to be there for other, even if it’s harder to be there physical there still is talking over the phone or find support on the internet.
Dr Matthew Whalley, clinical psychologist
Dr Hardeep Kaur
Our world is changing rapidly at the moment. Given some of the news coverage it is difficult not to worry about what it all means for yourself, and for those you love.
We have put together this free guide Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty.
We have included a mixture of psychoeducation about normal and excessive worry, lots of normalization, and a selection of practical exercises that you, your clients, or anyone can use to manage worry and maintain well-being in these uncertain times. Please feel free to share this widely.
Wishing you well,
Dr Matthew Whalley & Dr Hardeep Kaur
Download (UK English): Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty (UK English version)
Download (US English): Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty (US English version)
2020-03-22: We have had a number of kind offers to translate the guide. If you would like to contribute a version in your language please download the template below, and drop us a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can let you know if someone else has already begun a translation in your language (if they have, we can put you in touch so that the effort can be shared).
Download: Translation template
- German – proofing completed, waiting for final amends.
- Bulgarian – in progress.
- Russian – in progress.
- Spanish (South American) – in progress.