Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
Social distancing has taken a toll on many people from all aspects, including but are not limited to financially, socially, and mentally. Even though we have been quarantining for a couple of months now, this COVID-19 world still feels new. With this new way of life comes some difficult adjustments we have to make. Being forced to stay home, at first, may have been relaxing, but quickly turned into a struggle. We had to deal with the boredom that came with not having much to do, or possibly being overwhelmed with too much to do, and a variety of family dynamics. On top of that, the anxiety about catching the virus and the uncertain future seems like a lot to juggle. The most challenging part of quarantining might be the social isolation and not being able to physically interact with our friends and family. This has caused many to feel lonely, sad, and angry at times. Parties and trips had to be canceled, and schools were shut down, cutting children off from their social interactions. This created a new kind of stress on parents who still had to work and now had to take on the role of a tutor or teacher, on top of their other responsibilities. All of the COVID-19 quarantine factors, and other social movements taking place at the same time, can cause confusion, anxiety, and depression. This is not to say though that people are not finding ways to cope with the new circumstances. So what can you do to ease the anxiety and boredom? While the newfound free time has caused a lot of turmoil, there has been some good to come out of it. People have found ways to relax their minds with new hobbies and things to be excited about and have gained a new sense of appreciation and gratitude. There has been a shift in becoming creative to get by the day and appreciate life.
Outside get-togethers: To get back to normal socializing as much as possible, the social distancing picnics and hangouts were re-invented. In yards and parking lots, people set up their blankets or chairs six feet apart to see friends and family.
Learn a new hobby: People took up hobbies like painting, reading, fishing, hiking, and kayaking. It's an easy way to learn a new talent and show results.
Activities at home: People are buying pools and puppies to make their summers more exciting without vacations. There have been many DIY projects and home renovations as people are learning to enjoy their homes more.
The new meaning of self-care is to make every day seem as "normal" as possible for ourselves and our kids by creating a new normal. Another way to ensure we are maintaining good mental health is to stay informed about the pandemic and social movements, without listening to news that may increase one's fear and anxiety. Even though most therapists are not seeing clients in person, they are still available to do therapy online through telehealth services. It is essential to keep up with therapy if that is what you were doing before, or if you feel an increase in anxiety or depression. We cannot avoid all the world stressors right now, but there are steps to take to make sure we are happy and healthy. If you're struggling to cope with the Coronavirus social distancing measures' impact, then know that you don't have to be on your own with your feelings. Neurofeedback & Counseling Center of Pennsylvania virtual counseling makes it possible to access the support from a compassionate Harrisburg PA therapist, even when you're following social distancing guidelines. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at https://www.neuroandcounselingcenter.com/contact/.