EVERYONE Is struggling

By Rebecca Jane

 

This time last year, along with my PH7 pals, I was preparing to attend the rather fabulous ‘Red Rose Awards’. As were many Burnley businesses.

We glammed ourselves up, we sat amongst the other 600+ people, we ate, drank and we got very merry. We didn’t win any of the three awards we were finalists for, but let’s not get me started on that one. I’m not still bitter, I promise! Ha!

Fast forward a year, life couldn’t be more different and we couldn’t even begin to dream how things would change.

One of my biggest fears in life is how you can be happy one day, and the next it all changes. Let’s face facts, the changes COVID19 brought to our lives couldn’t be more drastic, and my worst fear became a reality.

I don’t want to dwell on negativity, but some times we have to look at the negative to appreciate how far we have come.

 

So let’s face the facts:

  • If I go to my friends house for a cup of tea, the police have a right to turn up and give me a fine.
  • I can’t get my hair cut or my nails done.
  • Technically, I can’t see my mother and father.
  • I can’t go clothes shopping. In fact, I can’t shop for anything but food.
  • I can’t go for just a ‘drive in my car’, if I want to.
  • Until recently, the kids couldn’t go to school. Last year they had a whole 6 months off school!
  • I have to cover my face in public.
  • I can’t go on holiday, or even a night away.
  • I lost loved ones to an illness I never saw coming.

 

The list is actually endless.

Mentally, most of us have now reached full capacity for what we can and cannot cope with.

I am completely honoured and privileged to work with many companies and people at PH7 HEALTH. I help look after the lives of around 6000 people, and let me tell you what I know.

EVERYONE IS STRUGGLING. From the bottom, right to the top. Not only do I see people on the lowest wages struggle, but I see the CEO’s and board members ‘crack’ under the pressure too.

A salary, or position of power does not make you immune from stress. Has there ever been a world wide problem that affects every single member of society? I can’t think of one.

Our charity PH7 LIFE conducted a survey recently of the people we look after. These are people walking in our streets, and people you meet:

98% of people feel they cannot stop worrying.

79% live in fear that something awful may happen.

Anxiety rates doubled and

51% of people feel they would be better off dead.

Let that sink in, because, like I said EVERYONE is struggling. Some will be struggling slightly, and others may be doing everything in their power to hold it together that day. Unless we are that person, we will never know how much someone is affected, or what they are going through.

The question is, what can we do?

For me, there’s only one plan!

 

Acknowledge. Accept. Support.

 

  • Acknowledge. Read my words above about the restrictions in force today. Think about what you’re missing. Think about how different your life is now to this time last year. Acknowledge the difference, because it is pretty drastic.
  • Accept. Accept the things you cannot control. We aren’t in a position to change much these days, and for now, we have to have a level of acceptance around that. We may not like it, but accept that life isn’t normal and go a little easier on yourself. Keep faith in the fact that one day this WILL be over.
  • Support. For me, this is the biggest point of all. COVID19 has brought out the judgemental and critical side to people we never even thought had an opinion, let alone such strong opinions. Everyone is a critic these days, and everyone is a judge. For me, judgment is the biggest killer of all. It has killed family relationships, it has killed friendships and at times, it has even killed people through the act of suicide.

 

Everyone has had an opinion on how we should and shouldn’t accept COVID restrictions. Shouldn’t we all just concentrate on ourselves and support each other?

I have witnessed so many people shaming each other.

People who don’t wear masks get accused of ‘being selfish’ – but is there ever a thought given to a hidden disability, or their reason behind not wearing one? On the other hand, ‘ People who do wear mask can be called ‘soft’ or ‘idiots’ for living in the fear that has been created by the restrictive measures are forced to live in

People who visit their mother, or grandmother are literally told they may kill her by spreading the disease. Is any thought given to the fact that person may be visiting their loved one because they’re so depressed they’re considering taking their own life, or that the mother may have dementia and doesn’t understand a pandemic is even happening?

Support each other, and stop the judgement. It’s very simple. We are all grown adults who can make decisions for ourselves. Ultimately underneath all this, we are all experiencing the same emotions of fear, anger and sadness. This is our shared experience.

One day, the COVID19 pandemic will be over. There will have been a lot of lessons learnt, a lot of friendships, jobs and people lost. We’re a year in, and it is time to start planning for the recovery.

 

Acknowledge. Accept and Support… because EVERYONE is struggling.