Wimbledon Author and Psychotherapist, Jonathan Hoban, has teamed up with friend and TV presenter Julia Bradbury to provide up-to-date, free mental health advice via their weekly ‘Lockdown Session’ recorded live on Zoom. Each week, they post a new episode via Twitter, Instagram and The Outdoor Guides’ website, that addresses topical concerns and issues directly relating to lockdown, the impact this has upon our mental health and well-being, and what we can do to help us cope better. Get to know more about Jonathan and the weekly lockdown sessions here…
As a born and bred Wimbledonian, I have always loved walking, and still to this very day, have wonderfully fond memories of going for walks with my family on Wimbledon Common. Throughout various adversities I have faced in my life, walking in nature has been my greatest ally, helping to improve my mental health, perspective and general outlook on life. Having been suddenly forced out of my comfort zone during these times, which felt both destabilising and uncomfortable, I recognised in retrospect just how resistant I had been to embrace ‘change’ and my ability to quickly ‘adapt’, how averse I was to confronting the fear of the unknown, and the lengths I went to, to avoid any difficult feelings that led me to feel ‘out of control’. I certainly witnessed first-hand, how sudden changes to my life or environment, could greatly impact my psyche, mental health and well-being.
Before the pandemic hit, the number of people suffering from depression, anxiety and work stress had reached an all-time high. In 2018, The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified stress as the “health epidemic of the 21st Century” and its only got worse since then. So when the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly hit the U.K. I could envisage how being placed in ‘lockdown’ was going to exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions, and magnify issues for those struggling with familial or financial difficulties, low self-esteem, or general feelings of uncertainty within themselves. I began to look at what I could do to as a psychotherapist to help those who may be struggling during this difficult period of lockdown. For some, this has been an extremely surreal, stressful, and fearful time. For others it hasn’t, as much. Either way, there certainly has been a great deal of free-floating anxiety, and tension in the air surrounding us all.
“We may have our doors shut in lockdown, but we need to firmly keep the doors of communication open”.
– Jonathan Hoban, The Lockdown Sessions
As lockdown begins to ease its boundaries, and we start heading back towards what we once called normality, I firmly believe that many of us may now start to question how we previously lived our lives, and address what changes we need to make moving forward. In many respects the transition back into so-called ‘normal life’, may be as difficult if not harder than the transition we’ve currently had to make in adapting to lockdown. It will certainly raise many questions for each of us, our friends, and family.
It was in response to this major life transition we now all face, that Julia Bradbury and I decided to team up to provide some much needed support and insight for those who currently need it. Hosted by Julia, each week we will post a new episode of what we’ve decided to call ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ on Twitter and Instagram (links below).
In our most recent session we addressed the topics, ‘Stress & Anger Management, the ‘Importance Of Boundaries’, and ‘The Healing Power Of Nature’. We discussed just how vitally important it is to get outside into nature during this time of lockdown, venture outdoors, make the most of our one portion of exercise per day, and how being immersed by nature’s many different dimensions can greatly benefit our mental and physical wellness.
The Outdoor Guide has supported this venture of ours has added a page on their website. Here’s what they wrote about our first Lockdown Session; “Julia addressed the key issue of the moment and the effect it’s had on the lives of individuals, couples, and families. The impact embraces feelings of being isolated, powerless, trapped, living in fear. Jonathan considered the depth of those feelings aroused and offered insightful comment and advice on how to cope during lockdown.” Our second episode is coming soon this week, so stay tuned on our Instagram and Twitter feed to see the topics we’re addressing next! We hope you come and join the discussion.
If you’d like to read Jonathan’s book called ‘Walk With Your Wolf” published by Hodder & Stoughton/ Yellow Kite, that provides useful exercises that can be done whilst walking in nature, you can click on the links below.
For all the useful tips and pieces of advice discussed in our first ‘Lockdown Session’ these have now been placed on The Outdoor Guide’s website here >.
INSTAGRAM LIVE LOCKDOWN SESSION
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Morning! Let psychotherapist @jonathan_hoban & I know what you'd like us to cover in this week's #LockDownSessions #mentalhealth talk. We'll discuss teenage anxiety & useful breathing techniques Are you tired of being told what to do? How and why positive affirmations are important. Happy Monday 💛 #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #mentalhealth #anxiety #stressmanagement #coping
ABOUT JONATHAN HOBAN
Jonathan Hoban is an Author and Psychotherapist. He has worked within the NHS, treatment centres and corporate companies around the U.K, predominantly in the City of London extensively over the last 10 years. Jonathan coined the phrase ‘Walking Therapy’ and has pioneered it since. He has since been featured on prime time BBC London News and in editorials such as The Times, The Metro, The Telegraph , Independent, Daily Mail, Guardian, Stylist, Vice, Grazia and many more.
Written By: Jonathan Hoban | Contributor