During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre for Specialist Psychological Therapies at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) has been running wellbeing livecasts.
Each week, staff are invited to join a livecast which covers a specific topic. Dr Stephen Barton is a clinical psychologist specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. He has an interest in recurrent mood problems and has co-authored a book on understanding mood disorders.
“We have been through a period of uncertainty, inconvenience and disruption because of the pandemic. There have been changes to work, relationships, health and wellbeing.
“There are four different types of change; short-term adjustment, getting back to normal, deeper acceptance and transition.
“Short-term change sees us pulled out of normal life, which can lead to us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It can be met with some kind of resilience. After a while people can go into a deeper acceptance where they recognise that the path to normal life is blocked.
“Getting back to normal is when the hope of stress and demands begin to fade and you start to feel relief.
“Transitions can often have unexpected benefits. Like the pandemic, we didn’t want it to happen but there are things that we have been able to learn and gain from it. Transitions are developmental and help us to recognise moving forward to a new version of life or a ‘new normal’. Transitions are an opportunity to re-pattern. This can be uncomfortable and uncertain but it can also be innovative and creative.
“We spend a lot of our lives trying to avoid unwanted events but we need these events to build resilience. Transitions take courage, they’re not an easy process and come from vulnerability and weakness. The current situation can make us all feel vulnerable but we can accept that we need the unwanted events to gain the resilience and courage to transition.”
You can listen to all our wellbeing livecasts on the CNTW YouTube channel.