Alianza Counseling understands that the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic crisis can and will affect your mental health. This is all new to us, something that we have never experienced. The world has stopped. It is difficult to function when our way of life, the only way of life that we have known since birth, has completely been upended. It is a scary feeling. As a result, many of us will experience anxiety and depression, along with panic and fear of the unknown. These feelings are very normal under the current circumstances and also with any life altering experience. We need to be aware that we are not alone with these feelings.
Experiencing these conditions, may also affect our daily functioning, by manifesting into difficulty sleeping, feeling on edge, worrying, loss or increased appetite (I eat when I’m stressed, which I have been doing a lot lately LOL) headaches, tension and fatigue. But as always, the health, mental health and safety of our clients, is our top priority. As the situation with the coronavirus continues to develop, Alianza Counseling is ready and standing by to support you and we will to continue to provide reliable access to the important services you count on.
Alianza Counseling understands that being socially isolated affects one’s mental health also. I personally, shake hands and kiss and I am a big hugger. I am Latino. That is the way I was raised and right now it is uncomfortable not to do so. But I understand that I have to refrain from social contact for the health and safety of others, and myself. But just for right now, not forever. In order for us to be together in the future, we must be apart today, as uncomfortable as that may be for most of us.
Some ways to help you cope
Alianza Counseling has many coping mechanisms that we have used successfully with our clients. Speaking to a caring person is a good start. Sharing our fears helps the person personalize their feelings and their worry will often decrease once they find that the other person also has those same fears. Writing down your worries or fears then discarding or walking away from them also helps. Deep breathing exercises will also decrease your anxiety and stress, as well as massaging pebbles or stress balls. The best thing to do right now is to take care of our mental health, as it is an important part of our health in general. We must have a sound mind in order for us to be healthy to take care of the rest of our responsibilities.
Focus on positive coping skills that have worked in the past and refrain from negative behaviors such as drinking excessively or overeating, (Unlike me. Oops!). Think about what makes you happy and feel better and how to improve your mental health, especially now with the limited resources available. Don’t forget your social support! Contact friends and family via online or video chat or by phone. Write a letter (Remember them?). It’s a nice surprise receiving a handwritten letter or a card from someone you care about in the pile of bills that you receive.
Exercise your body and your mind! Go out for a nice brisk walk. Sit in the sunshine and have a bowl of fruit. Sit back and read a book. Plant a flower. Paint. Complete a puzzle. Draw with your children. Relax, Relax, Relax. There is an unlimited amount of possibilities that will reduce your anxiety without having to spend a lot of money, if any at all.
We are here to assist
We are all in this together. Alianza Counseling understands these times can be challenging and worrying, and we are here to listen. But as I have seen throughout my 20 years in this profession, no matter what problems our clients have experienced in the past or currently, they are resilient. We will get through these times and become stronger, like we have done so many times in the past with everything else. This too shall pass.
I want to personally invite you to come and sit in a nice comfortable chair, have a cup of coffee in a beautiful office with stunning views and talk. A safe place for you to discuss your feelings. We all need someone to talk to. También hablamos español. You and your success is what Alianza Counseling strives for. Please go to our website at www.alianzacounseling.org for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Take care and good health.