Let’s face the current reality: the COVID-19 pandemic is incredibly contagious and potentially fatal. You may be thinking, “well, I’m already anxious about the coronavirus outbreak, and now you’re making it worse.”
However, I’m stating this for a reason.
We must accept our reality, acknowledge our fears, and then proceed to make the best of that reality.
If you’re anxious about the coronavirus and it’s affecting your mental health or your life in general, now more than ever, it’s important to take extra measures to take care of yourself.
It’s completely normal to feel fearful and anxious, you’re not alone. Be kind to yourself. Reach out and get the help you need. I can help guide you through this worrying time.
As the facts and figures become more confusing and frightening, it’s time to seek gentle support. I invite you to join me in a guided soul searching counselling session.
The coronavirus is increasing the level of social anxiety around the world, in several ways. First, many people will fear to get together at social events due to the possibility of becoming ill.
Second, people with pre-existing social anxiety will likely use it as an excuse to avoid social gatherings, further exacerbating their anxiety. The irony is that social anxiety is not usually about catching germs, but coronavirus might cause the fear of physical illness to become another reason to be socially anxious.
Whether you’re the type to go with the flow or you’re the type who likes everything planned and controlled in advance, the current state of the coronavirus pandemic can make life stressful. We are in a time where it’s really easy to be fearful. However, living with fear doesn’t mean you need to live in fear.
Due to the contagiousness of COVID-19, most of the world has been asked to practice social distancing in an effort to help contain the global pandemic. However social distancing can have a serious impact on mental health.
One of the reasons for this is lack of physical touch with the elimination of everything from handshakes to hugs and other forms of affection. Although keeping your distance is necessary for now, a world without physical touch can be incredibly damaging for one’s mental health.
Additionally, the social and mental health cost of a quarantine during these times can further our sense of isolation and make us forget the bigger picture: we’re all in this together.
image by Caroline Preston Caroline Preston
Loneliness has been proven to increase the probability of depression and even impact a person’s immune system; a crucial fact to be aware of particularly during a pandemic. Talking to even one person a day can significantly increase one’s well being. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out!
When you experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and isolation; depression frequently follows. Think about all the ways that the coronavirus can contribute to depressive feelings. You might have lost your job and not know if you can pay your bills. Your comforting routines have been upended. The kids are out of school and need supervision 24/7. You are cut off from your support systems. You can’t go to the gym.
In addition, when your physical health is threatened it can be very difficult to see anything optimistically. Because we do not know when the coronavirus will subside, there may be no relief in sight. When you take into account all of these challenges, it is not hard to understand how someone could feel depressed.
The ‘unknown-ness’ of the situation, and the seemingly constant return to lock-down, may contribute to the feeling of hopelessness.
Not going into work and the lack of social activities on your previously busy calendar can lead to feelings of lost purpose. People who are self-isolating may have difficulties with feelings of sadness, restlessness, insomnia and demotivation.
Guilt over lack of productivity.
Although many are working from home, there is still the expectation we can be productive (or even more so than normal), while potentially juggling home-schooling, no properly set-up work space, and having no privacy. The need to be as productive as we were in our work environment is a flawed concept, and causing many people stress.
If you are feeling or experiencing anxious sad, scared, and depressed thoughts; don’t wait, schedule yourself a video, or phone counsellling session to discuss your feelings and keep your mental health in check. You’ll feel better - I promise!
But what if self-care is not enough?
Due to the challenges of COVID-19, there is tremendous demand for professional counseling.
Counselling can provide support and help to develop tools to deal with anxiety and depressive feelings.
It is a great strategy to help you cope and feel better if things get to be too much and you find yourself overwhelmed.
If you’re trying (or being required) to stay indoors as much as possible, give online counselling a go in the comfort of your PJs. The therapeutic benefits of 'getting stuff off your chest’ can't be underestimated.
If you believe you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or you just want someone to talk to about your stressors; you can book a session here.