Do you talk to your friends on the phone and share stories of your children’s meltdowns, a fight with a spouse, the latest change to the kid’s school schedule, your inability to work from, or other similar content? Many people feel like they are losing their minds during these unprecedented times and that if they have to wear a mask to the grocery store for another week, they may burst. The truth of the matter is, people are not coping well with COVID restrictions because they have never faced so many changes, of such a significant magnitude, all at one time. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but these times can also be manageable.
What Can I Do to Not Lose Control?
If you feel like you are on the brink of a meltdown, speaking with a counselor or therapist is a great start. These professionals have been trained on how to help others through these new scenarios we are all facing and can help you pick up the pieces of your life and help you put them back together in a manageable and more controlled way. Let’s face it; control is half of the problem. We did not choose this reality, it was thrown at us, and when we feel like we do not have control of a situation, it can be daunting and scary.
So, how can you talk to a therapist when all counseling offices are closed? Telehealth is a great option to be able to talk to a professional and do it in a safe manner. One possible source is BetterHelp.
Additionally, there are things that you can do on your own to help you manage your stress better. These include:
Anything that you can do in the realm of self-care is a great option to reduce stress and increase your mood.
What is Self Care?
Self-care is doing something by yourself to take care of your overall wellbeing. We see a doctor when we are sick, and we should be doing things year-round to prevent both physical and mental illness.
Mental self-care is just as important as taking care of our bodies. In fact, many times, the work we do to care for our bodies helps our mental health, as well.
Self-care can include:
- Talking a walk or run
- Juicing or eating a balanced diet
- Having an exercise routine
- Journaling or writing your thoughts and feelings
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Getting massages
- Getting pedicure and/or manicures
- Coloring in adult coloring books
- Making crafts
Anything that is some that you enjoy or find relaxing is an element of self-care. Where baking or cooking may make some happy, it may be someone else frustrated and miserable. Running may be a passion of your best friends, but you do not enjoy it at all. So, your self-care list can look very different than someone else’s. That does not mean that it is not something that should be on your list; it means that it should most definitely be on yours if you find joy in it.
Take Advantage of Family Time
During these challenging months, family time is important. You may think that you spend time with your children all day long, the last thing that you will find enjoyable is spending more time with them. This does not mean that you do not love your children. It is healthy to have space and time for yourself. What it does mean, however, is that you need to spend fun family time together. This can mean different things to different people. If going on a family hike is always stressful, that is not something that should be on your “family fun action list.” However, if you all enjoy playing a video game together or family movie night, then make sure that you carve out time to do something like this fun with your family.
While all the members of your household may not be exhibiting stress the same way, it goes without saying that every person is stressed out about something. Perhaps your children are not enjoying distant learning, and they miss their friends. Maybe your spouse is working harder at the office to catching up on data fills from those who work from home. You could have gone from a two-income house to a one-income house and are stressed about finances.
Every family will have their list of things that are not working for them the way they want it to be right now, and doing fun family-oriented activities together will remind you all that you have a built-in support system. Remember, you do not have to spend money to enjoy each other’s company. What you can do is get a little creative and come up with activities that have little to no cost and that everyone will enjoy.
It is easy to feel like you are losing your sanity during these challenging times, but there are ways to come out on the other side, stronger and healthier than before.