2020… What a year!!

2020… What a year!!

2020… What a year!!

As the end of year approaches, we decided to sit down with a few of our psychologists to reflect on what has been the biggest challenge their clients have faced this year and what was the most helpful strategy to get them through.

Due to the pandemic many families have had to navigate uncertain, disruptive and anxious times. Lockdown and travel restrictions have reduced the family and social support that many rely upon. We are hoping this advice will be helpful for those who are not able to access resources and is a reminder that you are not alone in your struggles.

What is the biggest challenge you have noticed your clients have faced this year?

Answer: Coping with uncertainty, unpredictability, and change after change. It has been hard for families as everyone in the family might cope differently, then there’s the added layer of how the family negotiates these challenges together as a unit.

Answer: For new parents: social isolation and grief about lost opportunities, like missing out on joining parents’ groups and introducing bub to grandparents and other extended family members.

Answer: For my perinatal clients – border closures have impacted on many of my pregnant and post-natal clients accessing the emotional, practical and social supports from their own parents to help with their transition to parenthood. Some clients with family overseas are struggling with the uncertainty of when travel will return to normal. As a consequence, there has been an increase in feelings of social isolation, anxiety and depression and sometimes more strain on the couple relationship.

What has been the most helpful tool or strategy to get through it?

Answer: Focusing on what can be controlled, and what we do have the capacity to change. For families, this has been deliberate acts of kindness to self and to each other. Honing in on values of practicing care and nurturing connections has kept the focus close to home rather than panicking about the world.

Answer: New parents have been resourceful! Many have enjoyed the chance to slow down and enjoy their baby with their partner, without the normal life demands. They have connected with new parents using apps like Peanut and stayed connected with loved ones though video calls.

Answer: Helping clients to feel safe and have a sense of control over their lives despite the current uncertainty. For example, encouraging clients to engage in rewarding activities they can still enjoy that align with their values, having a daily routine, joining online mothers’ groups and for my pregnant mothers engaging in online calm birth classes with a focus on meditation.

Our team at Nest are working extra hard to support families during this time. Should you or a family member need support, please feel free to make a booking.