By Jo Dunbar
In normal times, the Spring bank holiday usually means beer gardens, barbecues, trips to the coast and seeing family and friends. But thanks to social distancing, our usual fun is out of the question.
Ellen Brady, Relate counsellor, warns that our ongoing locked down situation can make it very easy to retreat and stop connecting emotionally: “It’s too easy for us to wallow in self-pity as we miss contact with friends and family. This bank holiday will be different but there’s a real danger of shutting down emotionally if we let ourselves think negatively for too long.”
Video calls are all very well but often we end up moaning to each other on-screen. Instead, Ellen suggests engaging in an activity together and use technology to do this: “It’s worth trying to do something meaningful this bank holiday and give yourself a chance to connect with loved ones. Use video calls as an opportunity to do something together rather than chat, which can turn into a complaining session. Have a meal together virtually or play a game. You can even bake together – it won’t be the quickest way to make something, but you will be sharing an experience.”
Off-screen, now is the time to give yourself a bit of a treat and mark the bank holiday as different to the previous weeks of slogging away, juggling home learning and trying to work from home. Place an order with a local butcher to cook your own barbecue and for your beer garden fix, some small off licences are delivering. If you have flour and sugar, a VE Day tea party with your household could create a diversion. Bank holiday vibes are still possible. We hope you enjoy yours.
Relate is providing telephone counselling, webcam counselling and Live Chat during this difficult time. Find out more at relate.org.uk. They also have a range of online information and advice for keeping relationships healthy while staying at home.