We were expected to snap back to what we knew
When so much has changed
Feeling the pressure
Pressure to be something
What would it be like to just be?
Time passed slowly as we stared at the walls of our isolated homes
And time passes quickly as we are thrown back into the rat race
There’s a time to talk
And there’s a time to share
A time to be alone
And a time to be together
A time to be witnessed
A time to sit
And a time to move
We need to make time for ourselves to heal
We came out of lockdown a year ago… it feels like a couple of months ago, doesn’t it?
Our community has been through colossal disconnection and we are slowly coming back together. In many ways, the pandemic put growth on pause when we lost the freedom to connect beyond the screen. In my work as a Psychotherapist in a post-pandemic Melbourne, I am seeing a few common themes within the collective. Whilst navigating and managing present pressures, many community members are still experiencing emotional shell-shock from lockdowns. This can look like feelings of loneliness, loss of self confidence, stress or social anxiety.
Lockdowns provided us with perhaps too much time to think whilst staring at the same walls. Everyone responded differently: some were led through creativity, aspired to change and adapted to new ways of living. Some found new passions and hobbies, some started new careers or businesses. But many others experienced crippling depression, lost their jobs or their sense of purpose.
Let’s talk about attachment theory…
You may have heard of secure and insecure attachment styles, but where do they originate from and what do they mean?
Attachment theory is based on the concept that babies need a secure parental figure to love, nurture and hold them in order to grow and develop into healthy humans. With a secure parent, a child is able to explore, experience and be creative in the world whilst feeling they are able to come back to their parent when they need to. Children who grow up with unreliable parents can develop insecure attachment styles, which is directly linked to developing problems with nervous system regulation.
Although Melbourne has been free for over a year, the effects on the collective nervous system are still present. Melbourne was hit with the longest lockdowns in the WORLD! Just like a child left to cry, the people of Melbourne were struggling with lockdowns without an end date in sight. This affected our collective nervous system, and it’s no wonder there’s many of us still feeling the effects.
Humans can learn and study new skills but we can only go so far in our emotional development and evolution alone. We survive, develop and evolve in community, so naturally the experience of isolation is hugely disruptive. When your nervous system is in fight, flight or freeze the brain acts and responds from the brain stem, the oldest part of the brain. The brain stem is responsible for keeping you alive, so you can run away from danger or attack.
The newer parts of the brain are responsible for feelings, emotions and generating creative thoughts. When we are triggered or in a traumatic state we are unable to access these creative spaces in our brain, which can leave us feeling numb, frozen, anxious or stagnant. Being left in this painful and confusing state of in-betweenness has caused devastating effects with how we interact with the world around us. For some people, existing in a lockdown state of uncertainty for two years has stirred up a variety of existing attachment trauma wounds. We need to teach our brain to return to a state of safety and security in order to heal.
Why see a psychotherapist?
Do you want to express yourself, find your authentic voice and connect with others on a deeper level? Working with a psychotherapist is a positive way to build back your confidence and security moving through the world.
A good holistic therapist has a sound awareness of their own body and mind. They use their own regulated nervous system to provide a secure base for clients to feel held and understood. From this position of safety within the therapy space, clients are able to move from fight or flight mode and return to a calm state of being. You can learn how to set boundaries within your current energetic capabilities and reconnect with the world at your own pace through mindfulness practices centred in breath, movement and stillness. Extra care can be given using massage, reiki and energy healing.
Sarah is one of our wonderful holistic Psychotherapists. She facilitates sessions with an authentic, creative and compassionate approach to create a safe space for everyone. Sarah recognises that everyone is unique and offers a dynamic, multi-modal approach which can be tailored to suit each client’s needs. She offers individual counselling for adults wanting to work on:
- Grief and loss
- Sexual identity
- Emotional stress or anxiety
- Existential issues
Sarah especially welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community & sex workers.