Looking back on early March 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning to make headlines, no one could have foretold that nine months later we would still be in the midst of this widespread public health crisis. COVID-19 has had drastic effects on society and the ways in which we live our lives. The isolation, fear, and uncertainty caused by the pandemic have inflicted stress and anxiety on hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.
We All Respond Differently to Stressful Situations
Everyone is unique, and each of our individual reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic are equally distinct. Many people are at a higher risk of experiencing an intensified emotional response to stressful situations like this current crisis.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
- People who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (for example, older people, and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions).
- Children and teens.
- People caring for family members or loved ones.
- Frontline workers such as health care providers and first responders,
- Essential workers who work in the food industry.
- People who have existing mental health conditions.
- People who use substances or have a substance use disorder.
- People who have lost their jobs, had their work hours reduced, or had other major changes to their employment.
- People who have disabilities or developmental delay.
- People who are socially isolated from others, including people who live alone, and people in rural or frontier areas.
- People in some racial and ethnic minority groups.
- People who do not have access to information in their primary language.
- People experiencing homelessness.
- People who live in congregate (group) settings.
Common Struggles During COVID-19
Although every individual is dealing with different struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many stresses that may be applicable to us all.
- Some of us may be living in fear of dying, while others may fear causing another’s death by their actions or inactions
- Dealing with stresses associated with living in isolation with minimal human interaction
- Dealing with the disruption to daily routine (i.e. changes in work, school, available recreational activities, etc.)
- Finding productive ways to fill in our days
- Losing trust in the institutions meant to protect us
- Losing a loved one
- Worrying about a loved one contracting COVID-19
- Finding ways to socialize without putting yourself or others at risk of becoming infected
- Struggling to comprehend the diametric opposition of different opinions and perspectives on the reality of COVID-19
- Arguing with friends or family members about political issues pertaining to COVID-19
- Feeling uncertain about when the COVID-19 pandemic is going to end
How Can I Achieve Emotional Wellness During COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate destructive thoughts and emotions, making it difficult to have a positive mental outlook and attain emotional well-being. It is important to understand that you are not alone in struggling to cope with these negative emotions, and therapy can provide you with a positive support system. There are proven psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral strategies that can help you successfully deal with these stresses and come out of this pandemic emotionally stronger.
As a licensed mental health care provider, I can effectively use these techniques to see you through your personal struggles. I provide all of my clients with a judgement-free space to express their feelings, knowing they are genuinely being heard, understood, and supported. Contact me today so we can begin navigating you forward on your journey to emotional wellness.