During this difficult time of uncertainty, support is more crucial than ever. The lockdown has resulted in reduced social contact, isolation, and loneliness. We are no longer in the company of our peers. Teens are not with their fellow teenagers, moms are not with other moms, employees are not with coworkers, families are separated, and couples are separated. No one is with their fellow cohorts, where they may draw from similarities that comfort one another. Family members are frustrated with each other, disappointed in their circumstances and their realizations; couples are seeing all sides of each other, struggling between support for loved ones, and their own needs. Staying connected to sources of support is more important than ever.
Within the world we were living in, prior to this pandemic, and the lockdown, it’s likely you didn’t spend long periods of time on the phone connecting and relating. Perhaps a text here or there, to organize a plan, or an even less intimate group text to mention something silly amongst the events of your busy day. It is probable that you might not feel as comfortable picking up the phone to reach out to various friends, who perhaps only reached the “acquaintance” status in this lockdown. There are individuals you may have seen rather frequently, that may not have been your best friends. Perhaps they were members of groups within which you’ve been affiliated, whether classmates, friend-of-a-friend, fellow-parents, board members, club members, neighbors, or members within the community. This situation is leaving many isolated.
It was common to fill the day with less intimate interactions with acquaintances, quite often. Now is a time, when you can choose to reach out. You can choose to connect to some who have not been close friends, but perhaps – can be, going forward. You certainly have the time. You can also choose to identify the few who have been closer friends in the past, and maintain regular contact – even if that includes details of your boring days, or your fluctuating mood. It’s a time to choose to stay connected.
Furthermore, receiving the support of a therapist can be helpful during this time of uncertainty, confusion, and isolation.
Getting connected to a therapist through teletherapy can help to:
- Check in to process the changes, and loss
- Understand your own needs
- Validate your feelings
- Create a routine
- Prioritize self care
- Add in some joy/ laughter/ camaraderie
- Develop a trusting reliable relationship
- Create comfort
- Improve your mood
- Reduce anxiety
- Identify healthy coping skills
Finding a therapist
Schools and physicians often have names of local therapists they can provide to students, parents, and patients. If you would like to find a therapist on your own, Psychology Today lists mental health practitioners by zip code and specialty. Psychology Today also verifies the background and state licensure of all providers before listing them on the website. You’re able to put in your zip code to find someone licensed in your state. Most therapists are offering teletherapy through HIPAA compliant platforms, by video session or phone session. The most important thing to realize, is that you’re not alone. A therapist is only a few clicks away. Talking to someone can help.