Restrictions are lifting, and the shops are starting to open. We are learning to adapt to the new normal. But what about those parents and single-parent families that for the past three months lockdown has meant nothing more than their four walls, allotted exercise and the company of their child? Add to that the daily battles of homeschooling, entertainment and separation from others. And we haven’t even touched on shopping, finances and chores!
It has been a joy for many, but for others, it has become a battle of wills. Some have fully thrown themselves into home life with messy houses, zoom parties, late nights and Blue Peter style works of art, while others have fought hard to retain a sense of routine and normality. No one is to say which is right; after all, we have all gone through something extraordinary and come out a little bleary-eyed.
There are many things still to be decided about the world around us and the so-called new normal changes almost daily, but one thing that has stood firm is that there is support out there for those who need it. You do not need to hit rock bottom before reaching out and asking for a helping-socially distanced hand. Below Anna tells of her experience after reaching out to us at the end of last year.
Can You Help Us Help You?
Anna tells us first hand how she found our Single Parent Stress Management Package
I wasn’t expecting to become a single parent to 6 children, but that is what happened. In this new world, I found many difficult challenges ahead of me, especially with my low self-esteem. This is where my experience with The Devon Clinic began.
It was during a home visit with my health visitor. Sarah showed me a website and on it was this package designed for people just like me. It provides talking and physical therapies, and I got to choose what I wanted-not something you hear every day running around after children. Together we completed three short online quizzes-that was it, I’d applied! I knew someone was going to contact me, but I still worried I’d done it wrong. Would they reject me?
It didn’t take long for The Devon Clinic to contact me and say that I was eligible for the package. They explained everything to me, and I felt reassured and informed about what was going to happen. I was even told in great detail how to find them and reassured that I could phone them for support if I got lost on the way.
My First Single Parent Package Visit
My gosh, was I nervous! Thoughts rushed through my head about being late, where to park, getting lost, saying too much or not enough. All that was put aside as I was made to feel welcome and instantly feel at ease. The waiting room was calm, and the receptionist was friendly and quite happily chatted away with me.
For my initial consultation, I met with Chris Fleet. He was really friendly and approachable, which is very important for me, especially as I suffer badly from anxiety in new situations. We talked about what I wanted to gain out of my sessions-not something you often hear! I was surprised all these doors were open just for me.
We decided hypnotherapy would be a beneficial starting place.
My First Hypnotherapy Session
My anxiety got the better of me before my first appointment, and I bought my 20-year-old daughter along for reassurance and calm my nerves. That was all put at ease, and I remember leaving my first session relaxed and reassured. It was strange having ‘me’ time—a whole hour of relaxing on a comfy reclining chair feeding my mind positive thoughts. I hadn’t felt that relaxed in a very long time. That was definitely one to put in the reference box for stressful times.
I found relationship counselling with Marissa Acton helped me feel a lot better about myself and my single-parent status. It feels so nice to know me despite everything I “think” I am. I found it reassuring to be told that others don’t see what I think of myself-those negative stories we can all often get caught in our heads with. Marissa helped me see things differently, and now I don’t blame myself for my past.
After all my sessions were completed, I was able to contact the clinic for advice and places I could turn to. This resulted in my taking one giant leap of faith and finding a small volunteer role as a receptionist. My anxiety and self-esteem would have made this an impossible feat before partaking in this package.
For anyone thinking of applying for the single parent package, do it! They are always very flexible with appointment times and understand the need for them to be in school/nursery hours. My experience is a testament to the value that this has for an individual. I now believe a little more in myself, I have put myself out there, and I am taking control of the things I can control and letting go of what I cannot.