A LEADING Donegal psychologist has urged people to pay more attention to their mental health as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease.
Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, a co-founder of Perspectives Ireland, has said that people should use the transition period to reflect on what really matters.
Barnes-Holmes, who hails from Muff, is advising the public to be proactive about their mental health as we head into the recovery phase of the pandemic.
“Everyone struggles to say no because it feels selfish,” she said.
“A key part of our clinical and corporate work involves training people to set simple workable boundaries. Setting boundaries is a personal choice that simply organises your life according to how important different things are to you. This is key to good mental health.”
Barnes-Holmes and her co-founder Ciara McEnteggart have issued advise for people to become more proactive:
- – Stop before you start again. As restrictions lift in the coming weeks and months, it is important to use this time to look around and reflect on the things that matter most to you. What did you learn about yourself during lockdown? Were there aspects of lockdown that you really liked? What did you miss most about normal life? Once normal life resumes, you’ll have less time to think about you or the things that matter, and you’ll inevitably get pulled back into the rat race.
- – Set boundaries and say no. The speed of normal life makes it hard to set boundaries that protect the things that really matter to you. Before lockdown, you probably had very few boundaries and devoted more time to other people than to yourself. During lockdown, you learned to do more things for you and realised how nice that feels. Before your diary starts to fill up again, set boundaries for me-time and practice saying no to things that no longer seem to matter to you.
- – Only do what really matters. Normal life comes with pressure. Some types of pressure are overwhelming if you don’t set boundaries. For example, when you see other people on Instagram living busy lives, you feel pressure to do the same or even to do more. But, does that really matter to you? Probably not. Even the time you spend comparing yourself could be time spent enjoying you and what matters to you. The message here is simple, only do what matters to you and don’t yield to pressure to be like anybody else.
Perspectives Ireland is an Irish consulting psychology company, set up in 2020, aimed at providing high quality training in psychology and well-being.
With decades of experience working as academics and extensive clinical practice, Dr’s Yvonne Barnes-Holmes and Ciara McEnteggart bring a precision to understanding mental health that is often lacking.Tags: