Our lives as we knew them were very quickly turned upside down 6 months ago and we were all forced into a new reality with very little warning.
There is now increasing uncertainty about a second wave of Covid 19 happening and what will happen with schools this semester. There is a heavy invisible threat hanging over us.
We have had almost every aspect of our lives disrupted. We are also reminded that we don’t actually have control over a lot of things in our world. So yes, this sort of heaviness or anxiety you may be feeling is very normal.
So what can you do to help yourself?
Be proactive about your mental health, learn ways to manage your anxiety and better tolerate uncertainty. Basically, this is learning to manage your emotional response to fear. We are all struggling to know what is dangerous and what is not. There is an element of risk in most activities these days.
Continue to practice and strengthen your coping skills, remain connected to friends and family. Practice being self-aware of your emotions and how you are coping. I notice that many people are quite anxious and tense and do not even realize they operate every day like this.
Recognize that your anxiety may not be telling you the truth, your worry about something may not be in proportion to the likelihood of it actually happening.
Establish a new Routine in whatever your situation is, be mindful of your media consumption, take things one day at a time. Practice being in the present. Anxiety is worrying about the past or the future, in terms of what “might” happen.
This is a chronically stressful time in our world but most people are very resilient and will recover from this well.
Studies show that resilience comes from being optimistic
Have good coping strategies that you feel confident will help you
Have strong social supports.
Reflect on some silver linings of the pandemic.
I have a free workbook on my website you can download with lots of other anxiety reduction strategies as well you can get that here.
If you are a parent, you may wonder how you can help your child cope with all of this as well...
Take things one day at a time. No one knows what to expect or how this is all going to play out and there are a lot of mixed feelings around the return to school for everyone.
Teach and model for your kids flexibility and calm, a figure it out attitude. Dealing with your own anxiety is one of the most powerful ways to help your kids feel more secure. We are modeling for how our kids how to act in times of stress.
Check in with your kids regularly on how they are feeling. This also teaches self awareness skills to them in terms of knowing their emotions.
Resist the urge or pressure to "catch your kids up", everyone had different learning experiences and access to computers during the school closures and everyone is going to be at a different place when school returns.
Mental health needs are just as important as academics. Try to balance the two and ease back into the learning and school work with patience and compassion. There is a collective amount of stress being felt among students and their parents alike. Remember that kids are adaptable and resilient, many are nervous but also looking forward to being with friends again.
If you or your child would like to work through any of these feelings or uncertainties please book an appointment on our website or call us at 651-1239.