We know that reports of Domestic Abuse increased during lockdown, with Domestic Abuse helplines stating there have been almost double the amount of calls compared to pre-lockdown. There are also reports of a rise in the number of people killed as a result of Domestic Abuse since lockdown started.
Managing lockdown has been difficult for many people for various reasons; it’s a particularly difficult time for those individuals who may be experiencing common mental health difficulties such as Depression, Anxiety or OCD. As lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted here in the UK, it is still early days and there are limited statistics that allow us to be able to see the true impact it has had on people’s mental health. There is the expectation that mental health services will become a lot more busy than usual in the upcoming months.
Lockdown posed a physical restriction on us; we were unable to leave the house for a period of time, unable to see family or friends, or go out to our favourite restaurants or bars. Physical restrictions are being lifted, but for some people, they live their lives in a different form of lockdown. This may be due to Domestic Abuse, or due to consequences of 'coming out'; this may be related to being LGBTQ+, loss of faith, or both. In the case of loss of faith, some individuals may not be able to let people know their true beliefs (or lack of), and if they do, they risk being emotionally or physical abused, or being shut off from family, friends and communities.
How can people who have lost their faith manage their day-to-day life, when they have to pretend to agree with certain viewpoints that they don’t truly agree with, and engage in behaviours that they do not want to engage in? This may be more difficult for people who still live at home with Religious families but can also impact people who don’t live at home, but live in certain communities or visit family from time to time.
One thing that can be helpful is to plan activities with your Religious family or friends that are not centred around Religion, but will help you to feel connected with them. You may find it helpful to think of things you enjoy together; for example cooking, watching a movie, even playing a board game (or on your phone, if this is what is used these days, it is 2020 afterall). This will keep the attention on the activity and lessen the chances of Religious talk that might lead to you feeling distressed.
There will be times you cannot avoid Religious talk or activities; there may be an expectation you engage with this and not doing this may make things difficult, or even dangerous for you. During these times you may wish to keep the time spent on these activities limited, if possible. It is really important to think about how you will spend your time after any activities or conversations you will find difficult; you could write down a list of activities that you find enjoyable or comforting and pick one of these to do after an activity that you find difficult. This may include speaking to supportive family member or friends, or any hobbies you do on your own.
If you would like support to manage your own 'lockdown' please contact us.