Have you been furloughed, taken a pay cut, or lost your job as a direct result of COVID-19 and Lockdown? Are you still working but worried about the long-term impact on your income? Many people are feeling just as anxious about finances as they are about catching the virus. Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak told us not to expect a quick economic recovery and that the number claiming Unemployment Benefit soared in April. 
 
Nobody could have planned financially for this or saved up and put money aside; it was not a predictable loss. However, the loss of income or loss of financial security is causing pain and disruption
Lost job during lockdown and worried about money
As Lockdown starts to ease, you may find that everything you felt at the start of Lockdown makes a return. We know that what is coming is going to be different to what we’ve become used to. We’ve all been experiencing the loss of our lives, routines, work, family, friends, freedom and have been getting used to our ‘new normal.’ Now our ‘new normal’ is changing again. 
 
Many of us have had weeks of being at home with a sense of safety from staying within our four walls. You may well start to experience a huge fear factor of going out; fear of the unknown, fear of catching the virus, fear of others, and fear of the loss of control. Coming to terms with this is going to take some getting used to. 
Children will fall behind because of lockdown
Have you heard the words: “The children will fall so far behind…” during Lockdown? If we don’t spend a period of time focussing on Recovery when all the children return to school, they will continue to be far behind. 
 
Here’s why. Returning to school is going to cause a second loss event. Loss of their new structure, routine, safety, security, and family. And that is for the children who haven’t suffered a bereavement during Lockdown and haven’t endured any suffering.  
As the planned reopening of schools is being outlined by the Prime Minster, how are you feeling? We are hearing about lots of teachers feeling angry about the potential loss of their own safety and the safety of the children in their care. There seems to be a loss of faith in the government and the Department for Education. 
 
While many teachers have provided an essential service for Key Workers’ children and the most vulnerable, putting themselves and their families at risk since lockdown, the school environment has been carefully managed. Allowing whole classes back into school provides a host of new problems, especially given the ages of Reception and Year 1 pupils, such as ensuring social distancing, crowded lunch halls, children hugging each other, or young children falling over and needing care. How is the government going to put measures in place for these incidences and make sure your school is COVID Secure? 
While the public have had another layer of grief to deal with as they’ve been unable to say goodbye, either in person or because they’ve had a ‘no frills’ funeral, or both, professionals in the funeral industry have adapted by making the best of the situation, ensuring relatives are left feeling that they’ve done their best. We’ve heard of funeral celebrants filling spaces in crematoriums with funeral directors and streaming the service online to mourners, just to ensure there are people physically in attendance. Crematoriums have stored husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and other family members together. 
Funeral professionals totally changed the way they work
If you've been following our 5-point plan for living through lockdown, you know that today's tip is all about learning how to say goodbye. 
 
Here's another overview of our 5-point plan: 
5. Say goodbye 
 
When you speak to someone on the phone, it’s normal to end the conversation with ‘see you soon’ or ’see you later.’ We’d urge you to make sure you say ‘goodbye,’ and ‘I love you’ and ‘I miss you’ (if they’re true and honest statements for you to make) to those you care about as frequently as you can at the end of your conversations. In our 5-point plan, we told you that COVID-19 does not discriminate. Saying goodbye at the end of every conversation means that in the event something awful happens, your last word was goodbye. 
 
In our work with grieving people we regularly hear that one of the painful ideas that keeps them stuck in their grief is that they didn’t get to say goodbye. Firefighters and those in the armed forces are trained never to part on a bad word with loved ones for this very reason. 
The third step on our 5-point plan for living through lockdown is being emotionally honest. (Take a look at Step 1: Acknowledge everything and Step 2: Be present if you missed them.) 
 
A quote used in the Grief Recovery Training is “Love is the product of truthful communication,” and whether we’re talking romantic love or any relationship, when we’re emotionally honest everything works better. For example, “I have a lot to do, I would really appreciate you taking the rubbish out,” is less likely to cause an argument than “Why do you never take the rubbish out?” 
 
The first is what you’re feeling is on the matter, the latter is a criticism. If you try to stick to what’s true for you and express it, you are more likely to be heard
‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.’ 
We all spend so much of our lives time travelling, we barely notice it. Travelling into the past with our thoughts to find things to beat ourselves up with, then projecting ourselves into the future to worry, creating stress, anxiety and pain, much of which could be avoided if we simply stayed in the present
 
In fact, it's so important that we've included it on our 5-point plan for living through lockdown. (If you missed Step 1, Acknowledge everything, click here.) 
Today we’re starting the journey of taking you through our Living Through Lockdown 5-Point Plan, starting with Acknowledge Everything. Has your standard response to ‘how are you feeling’ become ‘I’m fine’ when people ask, but underneath you’re thinking, ‘I’m anything but fine’? The likelihood is that you’re going through a whole raft of emotions right now, which change throughout the course of the day. There will be good days and bad days. 
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