Most of us are feeling increased stress and anxiety as we face the issues surrounding COVID-19. There are financial pressures, anxieties around the virus itself, and stress with the complete upheaval of our normal lives. This is the ideal time to reach out for counseling in order to mitigate greater problems for our physical, spiritual, and mental health. But many people are canceling appointments, or not reaching out for help at all.
What You Need to Know About Counseling During COVID-19
- It’s Accessible Financially: Many counselors are lowering their fees, offering sliding scales, or even waiving co-pays for those who have lost their jobs. There are also other resources for workers and businesses. See this link if you are in Washington State: https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources/covid-19-resources-businesses-and-workers
- It’s Accessible Through Telehealth: Counselors who previously didn’t offer telehealth are now able to provide this service during stay at home orders. In addition, those who can’t access a computer can receive help over the phone, and some are also able to receive treatment in person as counselors are considered essential workers.
- It’s Essential for Your Health: Everyone responds differently to stressful situations, but counseling can be crucial for your overall health if you…
- Have chronic pain and illness.
- Are a caregiver, a doctor, a nurse, or other medical professional on the front lines.
- Have a mental health condition, or substance use disorder.
- Stress and Anxiety Can Cause the Following Symptoms:
- Disruption in sleep schedule.
- Fear and worry about yourself and others.
- Disruption in your usual eating patterns.
- Worsening of chronic illness.
- Increase in unhealthy coping skills (using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc).
- Having thoughts of hopelessness.
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- There is Hope! You can reach out for counseling and support. You can also make choices that will help you to cope in healthier ways during this time. (for more ideas see this article: https://hisheartfoundation.org/15-strategies-to-reduce-anxiety-around-covid-19/)
- Discipline your mind: Choose a time and place for you and your family to talk about COVID-19. Limit the time. Share your feelings, and accept without judgement what others are going through.
- Limit media exposure. There is such a thing as too much information.
- Get on a good sleep schedule. Reach out for help from your doctor if you are struggling with this.
- Eat healthy meals.
- Focus on your connection with God and with one another.
Our prayer, at His Heart Foundation, is that you will maintain counseling or seek counseling during this difficult time. Remember that you are not alone. God is with us, and he has given us everything we need to make it through this trial.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
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