Thus far 2020 has given us a deadly virus, a solitary confinement mandate, loss of jobs, loss of child care, and an overall loss of “normalcy”. If any of you are like me, having your social activities stripped away due to “an abundance of caution”, has been a life changing experience.
How have you dealt with these extensive changes to your way of life? Did you take up a new hobby? Did you redecorate your whole house……….8 times? Maybe you added a few extra beers to your regular diet, to offset boredom and anxiety? Maybe you lost the extra 10 pounds you wanted to get rid of, or maybe you added the 10 pounds that you never wanted.
Regardless of how, we all have our individual responses to this experience. One thing is for sure, the underlying feeling/emotions that we have surrounding this situation causes us all to seek a way to make sense of it, or at least make time pass less excruciatingly.
While this has been a less than ideal situation for most, there are good things that can come out of it, depending on what we do with our newly found time. Finish that house project that will result in a great sense of overdue accomplishment. Learn that second language you have been talking about for the last 3 years. Create more memories with your children, an activity that you have been meaning to get better at. Obviously, this pandemic has not offered everyone the same amount of extra time on our hands.
To those people still working and taking care of our communities, you are GREATLY appreciated.
Even with utilizing positive activities to get you through this period, there can still often be overwhelming feelings of loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, and other effects that can play havoc on your mental health. If that resonates with you, identify a support system of people you can talk to when these feelings get overwhelming. This can be family, friends, and others that you already have relationships with. Conversely, online chat groups, and visual process groups, can be beneficial as well. It can often be therapeutic to hear others discuss their experiences, and how they have been successful in coping. It also does a lot to help normalize the experience. With Covid-19 increasing our isolation, it can be difficult to feel that many people are dealing with a lot of the same fears.
If the above ideas just don’t seem to be enough to support you during this time, it may be beneficial to seek a more structured, direct, and individualized approach to your healing process. This might be best done in one-on-one work with a licensed therapist or coach. These professionals can help walk you through the areas of your life affected by these experiences and develop active plans to best help you cope. There are many resources available to find a therapist that is a great fit for you. PsychologyToday.com is a great site to search for a therapist in your area.
If you are in need of someone to walk with you through the process of developing coping skills, making desired life changes, navigating the healing process, or simply effectively communicating emotions; reach out to me, Zachary Gaiter M.A., LPCC at Anumi Counseling, for a consultation at no cost to discuss how I might be able to support you.