This is what is on everyone’s mind right now.
After having our world turned upside down in March of 2020, we FINALLY got to have more freedom this summer. Summer felt like we were making progress and getting back to NORMAL life.
Now at the beginning of September 2021, the fear of this new variant has everyone questioning what is next? Mask mandates? Shut downs? Social distancing? Being secluded to our homes again? Continued work from home or closed offices again to go back to working from home? Children coming back home to do their school work from home?
These uncertainties are beginning to cause people to experience anxiety and depressive symptoms just thinking about what life was like at the beginning of this pandemic.
We all are in the same boat and really don’t want to NOT see our family, friends, or neighbors again.
There are some things that can help us manage anxiety and depressive symptoms around covid.
1. Turning off the news and taking a break from social media.
The news is a wonderful thing that we have as it can keep us informed on so many topics AND it can be the center of our constant “what if…” thoughts or “it is getting worse so what now..”
At times we need to be able to focus on our own self-care and that might mean taking a break from the news AND social media. This can help to give us time to decompress and not be in a constant state of worry.
Take breaks for a few days to see if this helps to reduce you emotions and thoughts.
2. Making a plan if a mandated shut down does occur again.
So this could be creating a more structured schedule for yourself so that you can keep a routine.
Going to the store and finding things you might be interested in trying to do that you never had the time to try before. Try doing those things when you have the time! You might find a new hobby you never thought you would do before!
Making plans with other friends and family members on how to keep in touch socially verses only through text messages or social media platforms. You could schedule virtual hangout times each week or every other week. You could try to plan on playing a game together virtually. Get creative and try to have fun with it in order for it to feel more normal.
If you have children, get creative and plan ahead of what are some things they could do to keep them busy and occupied. Teach them a new hobby or see if they have any interest in doing something they have never done before.
If your children are too young for hobbies, then try to research on Pinterest or google fun activities to do with my child who is ____ years old. This can help you to plan ahead and to get items to have in hand in case you need them OR if you want to have a fun weekend with them.
3. Remind yourself that this isn’t FOREVER even though it feels that way right now.
Our emotions and thoughts are very powerful at influencing our moods. Sometimes we believe our emotions and thoughts OVER facts of a situation. It is NOT to say that we do this on purpose, in fact many people do not know that their emotions/thoughts become what they believe to be facts.
It is important to learn how to check the facts in situations so that you can learn to reduce your intense emotions and thoughts while being able to effectively react to a situation instead of reacting with emotions.
This is a skill I teach a lot of my clients because as humans when we are in a situation we believe that is the only interpretation of the situation. Many times there can be a lot of unknown factors at play.
4. If you are noticing that you are struggling, it is okay to ask for help.
You can talk to anyone in your life about what you are going through as long as you feel as though they are a safe place to express what you are experiencing.
Sometimes you might NOT feel comfortable expressing your emotions/thoughts to someone you know because you may feel as though they will not understand what you are going through, they may judge you, or they may tell someone else what you talked about.
If you feel like you don’t have someone to talk to in your life, then you can reach out to a counselor who is willing to help you.
Counselors have a passion for helping people even in their darkest moments without judgement. We want to be able to help you get through the hard times so that you can begin to enjoy life again and to THRIVE!
If you are wanting to find a counselor to help you, please reach out so that we can help you. If we aren’t who you are looking for then we will help to find the right counselor for you!