When the pandemic became public knowledge, I found out as much as I could about the virus and this filled me with trepidation, as I knew that the pandemic would last for a prolonged period of time.

I began to order face masks and sanitisers and realised that eventually I would no longer be able to do face-to-face meetings with clients, families and friends, particularly when the first lockdown was announced. 

I decided also to keep a daily diary commencing March 2020, which I am still keeping over a year later. I felt it would be a therapeutic process and I could record thoughts, feelings, events, news etc as the pandemic continued.  I have been surprised that, as time has gone on, my thoughts, feelings and opinions regarding personal, local, national and international issues were recorded, sometimes in quite a forceful way.

Through the diary I have been able to express my feelings regarding the pandemic, and the diary has also been a way of recording telephone conversations with friends and family. The main subject of these was naturally how the pandemic was progressing and how they felt about it. Keeping in touch via phone with friends, family and other counsellors has been another way of feeling less isolated.

I have continued to speak to clients using the phone as well, though like other counsellors I have obviously missed face-to-face counselling. I have read other counsellors’ views and have been inspired by how other people have coped and shared their feelings during these difficult times.

Having more time on my hands, I have also been indulging my creative side by writing poetry about the pandemic and other issues that have arisen during the past year. I have drawn and painted more than in the past couple of years, and have used photographs taken on my mobile phone to record events and loved ones, mainly through windows or at a distance.

My fear of catching, or my friends and family catching, Covid made me anxious, and has made me wary of going shopping, so I have found myself buying more things online than I would have done in the past. 

Although the past year has had moments of anxiety and stress, I have also found opportunities to enjoy and appreciate life’s small pleasures, such as walking and the natural environment, while indulging creativity more than I have done for a while.

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Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.