At the start of a new year when we would usually be setting ourselves new goals, we are instead presented with the introduction of a third national lockdown. If the thought of living through another lockdown fills you with dread and anxiety you will not be alone. We are once again confronted with another period of uncertainty, not only in terms of the spread of COVID-19 but also not knowing when this exceptionally tumultuous time will end. It is no wonder we may feel utterly overwhelmed.

Many of us had adapted to new ways of working from home with the occasional meeting out or trip to the office. Now, the message is ‘stay at home’, forcing us back into a life of juggling work, home schooling, meal production and for many, the reality of being isolated at home alone.

The more we are willing to accept what is in our control, the more we can ‘unhook’ from difficult thoughts and feelings.

It is not only us that might be struggling to see a way through but also our children. They crave the structure and routine that school provides but now we see a return to lessons at the kitchen table and time away from friends. Creating a safe atmosphere of openness and acceptance, where children feel comfortable sharing their worries will help them to express how they feel. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves either if we don’t match up to our image of the perfect parent or teacher.

So this New Year how can we get better at focusing our attention on the here and now, as well as being kinder to ourselves in order to support those in need around us?