Reflecting on the impact of the situation surrounding Coronavirus upon my life, I have identified both positive and negative aspects; unexpectedly, the positive ones out-weighing the negative ones by far!

Many aspects of myself have been reinforced. Whilst I love travel, freedom and discovering the world, I also enjoy being in the confines of my home. Both of these things I prefer to do alone. I have always known that I am a solitary, introverted-type who can only tolerate being in the company of others for a couple of hours, before I need to rush home to be alone and to recharge. I have always put this down to having a grown up an only-child, preferring to be in my own company. The lock-down has given me the opportunity to have this time alone, to catch up on the domestic things I wish to do and to engage in activities which are more nurturing for the soul rather than those which demand our productivity for the wider world.

Now that the schools are closed, I absolutely love having my son at home full-time, although, by no means am I a teacher. Home-schooling has proved quite challenging and not something I would wish to do for any length of time. Seeing my son’s smiling face round the house for longer periods, though, has been a gift! I never tire of being with him.

I usually work from home as my private practice is based here. I, mainly, moved my practice to my home in order to address the symptoms of a medical diagnosis I received 18 months ago. I now live with auto-immune disease and have structured my life to be somewhat less active in a bid to reduce the fatigue which I often feel as a result. Along with a holistic approach to looking after myself, rather than medical, I have succeeded in managing my health very well. However, due to the panic-buying and stock-piling of many individuals at the present time, I find myself in a situation where trawling round multiple almost-empty supermarkets looking for essential items not only brings on my fatigue, but has now left my arthritic joints more vulnerable now that I am having to carry the heavy items I would normally be able to have delivered. (Alas! All the delivery slots are taken). It has made me consider just how much society’s behaviour actually has upon our individual health. Quite a frightening thought!

I was forced to engage in a practice I had been considering for some time, too; that of on-line counselling. I had been a little apprehensive about it prior to today’s current situation but thought that I would give it a try at some point. Now is that time and I must say, I much prefer the face-to-face counselling experience.

I have never been best friends with technology and my relationship with it never seems to change. I would even go so far as to say that, not only do I not enjoy using it, I am fearful of it due to the stress that it brings to my life. Instrumental to my well-being is the absence of screens and digital sounds and I know that my chances of ever owning a Smart ‘phone are almost nil.

I have learnt that I crave peace and quiet and everything that the modern world only provides in select environments and, whilst I do love the excitement of a seeing new cities, I mostly enjoy taking the road less-travelled. Most importantly, I like to live this way and know that I am being my true self.

Melanie Mitchell
GamCare practitioner and Counsellor