Mental Health in the time of COVID-19
The effects are being felt worldwide...who would've ever thought that in 2020 in the United States of America and throughout the world we would be under strict rules of quarentine?? That our freedoms would be stripped away from us, that we would be forced to distance ourselves from natural human interaction, that we would be hiding behind masks everytime we step out of our homes, that the entire world would be on pause and non operational???? This is INSANE! I keep telling people I'm just waiting for the zombies to come out of the sewers to attack.
As a Mental Health Provider I have started to notice the effects of quarantine in my clients and even in myself. I find myself experiencing minor panic attacks and have been having nightmares almost nightly. My clients are feeling it too the loss of jobs having to work at home, be parents, wives/husbands, entertainment, teachers, protectors, providers...it's completely overwhelming!!!
You see people online providing help with things to do while in quarentine...they are all great ideas, but let's be honest...if you are battling your brain and thoughts to maintain a good outlook and stay mentally healthy it's hard to stick to a schedule, it's hard to remember to breathe or do yoga...it's just plain hard period to do all the things we are being forced to do and try to be productive at the same time. WE ARE ALL EXHAUSTED!!
I just wanted to acknowledge everyone out there fighting to continue to function as normal as possible. It's not easy. Staying busy only lasts for so long, you can only do things so many times before it's not enjoyable anymore. The best thing we can do is support each other. Remind yourself is ok to take a break, it's ok to binge Netflix, it's ok to not always get dressed, it's ok to put your kids in front of a movie, so you can take some time to yourself. You don't always have to follow a plan or schedule, it's healthy to deviate occasionally. You don't have to be the PERFECT parent or teacher!! Because it doesn't exist. Be kind to yourself.
Keep in contact with friends and family as much as possible. I know viewing your loved ones from a screen is not the same, there's a loss in connection and energy, but remind yourself this isn't forever is just for RIGHT NOW. Humans need physical contact and face to face interactions to survive. Even my severely anxious clients are wanting to just be around people to feel the natural energy we give each other and they don't even like people.
This is a reminder that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this. We will come out on the other side stronger and ready to rebuild. Continue to do daily check ins with everyone you love. If you notice they seem off don't try to make it better, just be there and offer whatever support you can even if it's just staring at each other on a screen or being in the same room with your family.
Please STOP watching the news every second of the day!!! It's only going to add to your fear because all they do is report the scary stuff. It's a marketing strategy if they can fuel your anxiety or fear you will become triggered and activate your overthinking brain and won't be able to remove yourself from it...you will just want to know more. They do it on purpose!!!
Start writing about your journey through COVID-19, write about your thoughts and emotions...learn to become aware of what you're thinking and why. It's a great tool to have. If you are aware you have the ability to take control. Instead of letting your thoughts and emotions control you. Start your day with saying the things you're grateful for out loud and end your day in a grateful silent mediation visualizing the things you are grateful for or just speaking them into your heart to be able to feel how grateful you are.
In all just don't forget to care for yourself...you are LOVED and NEEDED and if you need extra support the Counselors at Positive Soul Holistic Therapy are still seeing clients. Give us a call! If you don't have insurance don't worry we have interns seeing clients for $25 during the shelter in place orders. We will continue to be present and online to support you in this journey. 210-858-6127.