A local mental health councillor has been reflecting on the past year and how it has affected our mental health as well as sharing some humorous ways she has coped during the pandemic.
Comedienne and CEO of Mind Management, Sheila McMahon, shared her thoughts on many issues such as loneliness, anxiety and loss.
As well as this, she also looked forward to the future with more light-hearted topics and how she was able to find fun and humour in lockdown.
Sheila said: “Most people have suffered with anxiety throughout this pandemic. People have been affected differently depending on their work situation, experiences, and losses.
“I think most of us experienced and continue to experience mood swings through the impact of this situation on our mental health.
“Bottling up emotions leads to mental health conditions and it is never too late to try some new ways to offload. Some people have kept journals where they have written down their thoughts.”
The Stafford-based mental health councillor suggested a good way to manage anxiety is through a simple breathing exercise.
“Regulating your breathing can be a great way of managing anxiety. One technique to help do this is called Rectangular breathing.
“If it helps, you can visualise the shape of a rectangle or draw a rectangle as you breath in for four and out for five.”
As well as these points, Sheila also highlighted how important humour has been during the pandemic.
“Humour has been such an important coping mechanism for many of us going through this tough time. Sharing funny quotes like: ‘Mom said, “Drink is your enemy”. Jesus said, “Love your enemy – case closed!” "
Looking to the future, Sheila, who lives in Tamworth, Staffordshire said: “We can look forward to all the things we want to do. For me, it’s been great meeting up with friends, yes, I have been apprehensive, however I have done my own risk assessment, kept to the guidelines as best I can and decided that I refuse to live my life in fear.
“When I do get to hug my loved ones that I have not been able to do for over the last year – I might never let them go!”
Sheila is planning on performing a new mental health show at the Stafford Gatehouse next year.