Reconnecting Written by Emma Holder, psychologist working in oncology and cochlear implant

Many people will be embracing the excitement and anticipation of lockdown easing. The increased opportunity for connecting with others will bring relief and reward for many. For many of us working in health care, the past year has involved a sense of hanging on and holding on until things ease.

Our bodies will have responded to the uncertainty and threat of the last year through an undulating release of adrenaline and cortisol. In many ways this holding on and getting by has been a useful way of getting through this time. It is therefore understandable that as the restrictions ease and we begin to embrace activities we had long since paused, many people will be faced with not only relief and happiness but also with feelings of fatigue.

As our bodies and minds take a pause we may find ourselves feeling exhaustion creeping in. It’s really important not to place too many expectations on ourselves at this time but to take time to rest where we can and listen to our bodies.

With the busyness of life, the constant intrusions of the news and the demands of work over the last year it’s understandable that we may have lost touch with connecting to our feelings and to our values. As current circumstances begin to allow us some physical freedoms it’s also a good time to take the opportunity to connect with how we are feeling and be kind to our bodies and minds.

When the need to survive takes over our minds can struggle to process the more complex aspects of being such as, “how am I really doing” and “what’s important to me”, so it stands to reason that this will have taken a back seat over the last year. However, we also know that living in accordance with our values and connecting to what is important to us, to our hopes, dreams and how we want to be is important to maintaining our wellbeing.

That doesn’t mean we will always be happy and content but it enables us to know that even when we hit stormy times we are still moving in the right direction for us. So as we move forward and are able to connect with others more, lets commit to pausing, connecting with ourselves, recalibrating and refocusing on what we need as individuals and how we can begin to live to our values once again.