Surviving and Thriving During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Surviving and Thriving During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With news of the coronavirus pandemic continuing to dominate the headlines, millions of people in the U.S. and around the world either unemployed or worrying about their job security, tens of millions continuing to be asked to self-isolate or practice social distancing, not to mention all of us who are worried about friends and loved ones, it’s easy to understand why a LOT of people remain rattled by all that’s going on in the world.
But, it’s not just navigating the economic effects of the pandemic or your physical health and wellness that you need to be concerned about …
Pandemics like the one we’re currently facing can all too easily lead to increased rates of anxiety, panic, depression, and a whole lot of fear.
And if you were already struggling with an issue like anxiety or depression prior to the outbreak, these issues are only compounded by the current situation…
People with obsessive-compulsive behaviors are now being told to wash their hands as frequently as possible. People who were already struggling with social anxiety issues are now being told to avoid other people. The list goes on and on.
So, whether you’re pacing your home worrying about family members you can’t get to, having trouble sleeping even though sleep seems like the only viable escape, having difficulty talking about the present situation with your children, or are struggling to maintain the emotionally supportive relationship with your partner you thought you could rely on… I get it.
You’re anything but alone!
We’re all facing increased levels of anxiety and stress… and many of us are struggling with a sort of “rolling depression” in which we start to feel more optimistic for a few hours or days, and then we read the next set of statistics or see the next edition of the nightly news and the feelings of worry and hopelessness come creeping or flooding back.
Many people are starting to refer to this as the “new normal” … But it doesn’t have to be.
Creating Healthy Balance in Uncertain Times
You don’t have to “like” that any of this is happening in order to accept the current reality. And acceptance is really the key to managing and overcoming any anxiety, stress, or depression you’re experiencing.
It’s just like the 12-Step “Serenity Prayer” says:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
The key to not only surviving, but thriving, during this pandemic is to accept what you cannot change and focus on what you CAN control.
And this is precisely where some for of professional counseling and therapy can help.
We can work together to help you:
- Set and maintain limits – such as limiting when and how much time you spend paying attention to the news or social media;
- Create a schedule that prioritizes your mental, emotional, and physical health – it’s only by taking care of all of the various facets of your personality and being and making time for the things you love most that you can truly keep anxiety, stress, and depression at bay;
- Overcome relationship issues – we’re all facing additional anxiety and stress and we’re all coping with it in different ways, so you need to practice patience, empathy, and forgiveness now more than ever; and
- Keep things in perspective – as bad as this pandemic may be, we’ve gone through much worse as a society and as a species and we’ve always come out the other side stronger than before.
Moreover, this pandemic has definitely been a traumatic experience for many of us.
And the somatic, body-oriented counseling and therapy services I offer are specifically designed to help people like you cope with, process, and heal from traumatic events.
So, you’ll not only learn the coping strategies you need to alleviate any excess anxiety and stress, we can also use techniques like:
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) to help you understand how the different parts of your personality are coping with the present crisis and reintegrate them with your core self;
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help you reduce the intensity of upsetting thoughts and see disturbing material in less distressing ways; and
- Hakomi Therapy and a variety of mindfulness practices to help you learn to accept and assert control over your anxieties and fears, instead of letting them control you; so you can create true healing and chart a path forward so that you’re no longer just surviving… you’re actually thriving during this difficult time!
Remember, when anxiety and fear take over, we can all too easily feel overwhelmed and out of control. When we’re overwhelmed and out of control, we can’t take care of ourselves. And when we can’t take care of ourselves, we certainly can’t take care of others.
All of this is why it’s as important as ever for each and every one of us to pay just as much attention to our mental and emotional health as we are to our physical health and well-being… and to get the help we both need and deserve.
We’re all in this together. And by pulling together and helping one another cope with the uncertainty, anxiety, and stress we’re all experiencing, look for the positives, find the lessons we can learn, and focus on what’s most important, we will get through this and come out the other side stronger and healthier than ever.
I’ve helped many clients do precisely this over the course of the past few months, and I know I can help you, too.
So, when you’re ready to practice acceptance, let go of anxiety, stress, and fear, and reclaim a sense of control in your life, I encourage you to contact me today at 510-735-8868 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have or to schedule a free, 20-minute, initial consultation. I look forward to speaking with you and helping you learn how to not just survive, but thrive and create a life you truly love living!