To brush over this trying time is to do a disservice to all who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not only speaking of those who are impacted physically, which on its own seems to be the global focus of this pandemic and rightfully so considering the number of deaths that we have seen thus far, but I am also referring to those who have suffered financially, mentally, and emotionally.
Many a small business owner is seeing their life’s hard work dwindling before their eyes with hardly a hope of surviving this stay-at-home movement. Many blue collar workers are forced out of a job, having been laid off about a week ago “for the wellness of the community” but at their expense. Many a woman has seen their education and work opportunity wane as they are forced to stay at home to school children who are now being expected to virtually learn. Many children will struggle to find an equal footing in the current educational system, as the ability to have access to the internet or a computer will greatly determine which children learn and which do not. With all of this impact and more, it is safe to say that these are difficult times which may leave people feeling a bit less-than their normal self.
In an effort to be of help (somehow), I wanted to take the time to share the following words from my sister-in-law and registered therapist, Alexandra, for those who are currently struggling to maintain their mental health or are experiencing more-than-normal levels of stress and anxiety.
Some great tools to aid with anxiety, stress, and loneliness during this time are:
- Being active – going for a walk, run, yoga, at-home workout, and getting some sun, if possible.
- Create routine – whether that be a work-from-home routine or a morning routine, creating some sort of consistency for your body and mind are important.
- Spend time with someone you care about – Don’t isolate. Even if it’s virtual time together, text someone or call someone, at least one person a day.
- Take breaks from the media – Take breaks from your phone, the TV, and the news. This helps us not ruminate or over-think, and reduces stress, anxiety, and worry.
- Do something for you! – Mindful activities such as baking, cooking, coloring and art, working out, reading a book, taking an online course, or learning something new can really help carry you through tough times. Schedule at least fifteen minutes a day for this.
Off course, you don’t have to do all of these, especially if you are working from home or are out working and helping others. But these are some healthy coping skills that can reduce depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness.
Alexandra Tillapaugh is a Registered Associate Marriage Family Therapist specialized in counseling adults and children with a variety of challenges, including but not limited to, anxiety, behavioral issues, depression, self-esteem, and relationship problems. She is also my wonderful sister-in-law.
During this time, she is offering lower cost online counseling sessions to people in need in our community – especially those who are displaced, anxious, and stressed.
“I know many people are anxious right now and stressed. They may need someone to talk to or need help with learning a few coping skills.”
She is offering a free consultation on the phone so that people of the community may seek help without the pressure of money. It’s a great way to find out if her services work for your particular situation or lifestyle.
“I want to get an understanding of why they want to talk to a counselor prior to any sessions. It’s the best practice.”
To learn more about her services, schedule an introductory call, or simply chat with someone over any hardships you may be experiencing, you can view her website here. To offer helpful tips for those who are suffering, feel free to comment below.