Coping with COVID Wellbeing Webinars

From our cavemen ancestors, we have inherited a tendency to worry and be vigilant for signs of threat.  In modern life, this is often about non-life-threatening things such as worrying about whether we have done something wrong at work or whether we will have anything interesting to say at a social function.  If we tend to worry in ‘normal’ times, it is unsurprising that we might find ourselves feeling more stressed at the moment. Especially feeling anxious during the current pandemic where there is a real threat to lives.  Our usual coping strategies may not be adequate.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological approach that helps.  Enabling us to:

  • Understand where you are emotionally by connecting with the present moment. This helps us to feel more grounded and be more effective, reducing unhelpful focus on the past and speculation on the future.  
  • Open up to our thoughts and feelings.  We often try to avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings, but they tend to just come back stronger and when least expected.
  • Do what is important to us.  We often want to feel better before we take action but ACT takes the opposite approach of encouraging us to move forward despite our unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

As highly qualified and experienced Clinical Psychologists, Dr Alesia Moulton-Perkins and I know from research that some people who live through difficult experiences such as pandemics will be negatively impacted in terms of their emotional wellbeing.  ACT skills really help people to cope with such uncertain times, but few people outside of clinical practice are aware of the tools it provides.  

Alesia and I wanted to share our knowledge with as many people as possible, not just through our individual therapy work.  Our challenge was to spread the message widely and quickly whilst observing lockdown and social distancing.  Hence, the idea of the Coping with COVID Wellbeing Webinars was born and we entered a new era in digital psychological support.

Our webinars are delivered to staff groups remotely, so people can access whether they are in the office or at home.  Participants can’t be seen or heard, so everyone is assured of their anonymity.  This encourages people who might not take up other offers of support.  Alesia and I share our very practical ACT-based strategies for coping in the current pandemic and there is an opportunity to ask us specific questions via the Q&A text function.  Participants leave with more knowledge about their own mental wellbeing and with practical coping skills as well as an opportunity to engage further in 1:1 support.  For businesses, this means helping staff back into the workplace after restrictions are lifted and reducing the likelihood of time off due to mental ill health in the future.

It’s been rewarding to see that feedback from all parties has been overwhelmingly positive and that people resonate with the ACT approach.

To find out more please get in touch at sarah@swanconsultancy.co.uk.