How to manage life with the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
by, Synergy eTherapy Staff
A Problem or an Opportunity.
The initial alarm and confusion of COVID-19 has begun to subside as people are discovering a new sense of normality. For many of us, this is the first time we are working from home, taking online classes, having groceries delivered, and distancing ourselves from friends and family.
Daily routines have been completely disrupted, and a lot of uneasiness has resulted from this rapid and forced adjustment.
However, for those of us that are healthy and doing ‘ok’ overall, this challenging situation can also be seen as a blessing in disguise. Is it a problem, or is it an opportunity?
It’s also okay to express the ways in which you are dealing with your own emotions.
What to do now that we are socially distant?
Social distancing does not mean we need to emotionally isolate ourselves. If you are quarantined with family or friends, use this shared time to strengthen your relationships. Instead of framing this situation as being “stuck” together, think about the ways in which you can embrace this extra time spent with loved ones.
Play games, take walks, watch movies, cook dinner, tell stories, and talk about how this period of uncertainty has made you feel.
Creating a daily routine is a productive way for families to normalize this unique time. Parents need to get their work done, children need to complete schoolwork, and everyone needs some time to relax, too. Setting aside time for work, play, screens, exercise, and alone-time can be an effective way to establish some sense of normality and order.
Another blessing in disguise this situation provides is the opportunity for us to slow down. Our lives are incredibly hectic, and jam-packed schedules fill the days of children, teens, and adults. However, staying home allows more time for completing the necessary work and also tasks and hobbies you’ve been putting off forever. Maybe you can finally reorganize your closet, read a book for pleasure, or learn how to knit.
Specifically for kids, now living their lives online.
In addition to setting up a routine, there are other ways to help children and teens manage anxiety surrounding Coronavirus.
First and foremost, answer their questions – better yet, ASK them specific questions that you can then answer. For example, “What worries you the most about the Coronavirus?”
If they’re wondering why everyone is spending more time at home or why they can’t see their friends, assure them that it’s to keep everyone healthy and safe. Help them understand that they are acting like a Superhero (for young kids) or socially responsible young adults (for teens).
Also, ask your kids how they’re feeling and let them talk about their worries or fears. This experience is new for them and for us, so discussing the uncertainty itself can help everyone feel a little better.
It’s also okay to express the ways in which you are dealing with your own emotions. Maybe your coping mechanisms will work for your kids, too.
While this conversation is incredibly important, there comes a point when we need to distract ourselves from thinking about it entirely. Social media is overloaded with Coronavirus updates and startling statistics, so turn off the screens. For the younger kids who might not even grasp what’s happening, know that they’re so happy you’re home and not at work! Dedicate some time to play with them, and take advantage of every moment.
Self-Reflection = Self-Care.
For all of us in isolation, take some time for self-reflection and self-care. We often go through our busy lives on autopilot and forget to consider the beauty around us or what makes us truly happy.
I think we’ve all become more self-aware when it comes to our physical health… is a sneeze a symptom of Coronavirus or do I just have allergies? But it’s also important to fuel our mental health during this time and always. Get outside, express your feelings, and do what you need to take care of YOU.
For those with the virus or love someone with the virus…this is for you.
If you or a loved one has contracted Covid-19, stats show that for most healthy kids/adults, they will get through it without hospital care. For those of you who require hospital care or love someone who does, please know you do not need to go through this alone. You might be scared, worried, confused, and feel alone. Please know that you do not need to be alone, with technology, therapists are here to offer guidance, support, and skills to help you and your family manage what you are experiencing.
Grief, shame, anger, and trauma are all real experiences for those who have Covid-19 or those who love someone who has Covid-19. Processing what you are experiencing in as real-time as possible can curb long-term distress after recovery.
Unfortunately, there are also many who lost the battle to this virus. If you’ve lost someone you love, there is support for you. There is no playbook by how anyone “should” handle losing someone to this virus. The pain, grief, anger, and confusion that one may feel are valid.
For anyone that suffered through the virus or is currently fighting it, we are thinking of you and praying for a speedy and full recovery.
And lastly, THANK YOU to all the brave men and women who run into the virus war every day, sacrificing for the greater good. We thank YOU for your choice to continue to help others each and every day.
We all need to stay home to flatten the curve, save lives, and end this pandemic. Keep checking in on your family and friends, take care of yourself, and wash your hands! Remember that Synergy is here for you if you are struggling to find balance in uncertain times.
Talk to a mental health provider…Virtually! Telehealth, or online therapy, really works!
If your anxiety about Coronavirus is surpassing what you can handle, a little therapy won’t hurt. Anxiety often arises during times of uncertainty, but that’s when it’s most important to keep mentally healthy. Therapy can help you manage anxiety about many different things.
In today’s world, tele-mental health (otherwise known as online therapy or eTherapy) allows people to access mental health therapy from the germ-free comfort of their own home or surroundings! Why Wait? Get a Free Consultation with one of our Synergy eTherapists today!