Mental health and having something to look forward to

What are you most looking forward to doing once greater freedom of movement becomes possible?

It will be many months before there is anything like “normality” although the restrictions are very gradually starting to be lifted, with the condition that if there is an upsurge of cases as a result they will be re-introduced.

Life has been turned upside down for most of us as a result of the measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus-19 virus and over time this is likely to affect our mental wellbeing.

While top of the wish list will be the opportunity to actually meet friends and family face-to-face, or to cuddle the grandchildren, it will be many months, if ever, before we will feel entirely comfortable about the risks of meeting other people.

Psychologists stress the importance for our mental health of having something to look forward to at times such as these. Anticipating something good in the future keeps us going in the present, they argue.

In fact, research has shown that anticipation is such a strong feeling, people are happier in the anticipation of a holiday than in remembering the actual experience.

However, they argue that it is the process of having something to look forward to rather than the size of the event that is important.

So during a period when people are having to stay at home and socially isolate, simple things like having a diary and entering dates for birthdays, a favourite TV programme, book release dates for a favourite author, even planned phone calls with loved ones can all make a difference.

Do you have a favourite place locally that you used to visit regularly before the lockdown measures were introduced? Take a look back through our earlier blogs on Suffolk Jewels to remind yourself and perhaps make a diary note of which ones you will visit when there is a chance.

Perhaps a day out at Newmarket Racecourse would be high on your list, or a walk in Rendlesham Forest?

And what about holidays?  Do you have a particular favourite place to visit either overseas or in the UK.

Then, there are all the events that have had to be postponed, from festivals such as Latitude to international events like the Tokyo Olympics.

If you had planned to attend one of these it might be worth noting them in your diary as possible to resurrect once the opportunity to do so returns.  And we will still be there to transport you whether it is to family events, local events or for airport transfers.