The world seems like a scary, uncertain place right now. With the current coronavirus outbreak, it kind of feels like we’re stuck in quarantine quicksand, and we’re not sure what day to day life is going to look like for the foreseeable future.
As much as we’d like to act like it’s business as usual, that is a pretty tall order these days. And with the current uncertainty in the world regarding the spread of COVID-19, the status of the economy, and meeting our day to day needs while social distancing, it’s never been a better time to tend to your mental health. Whether you’re already in therapy or not, now may seem like the time to pause self-care in lieu of scrambling to care for family, googling COVID-19 news, mindlessly scrolling through social media while in quarantine, and anxiously waiting for things to go back to normal. But there are a slew of indicators that tell us that now is the exact time to self-care and take an hour a week to focus on how life right now is impacting your mental health.
This pandemic has shown us a lot of ways that the systems we rely on are failing – but therapy doesn’t have to be one of them.
Therapy is an incredibly valuable practice, and studies have shown therapy delivered online or in-person are equally effective. Win!
Luckily, we live in a time where we don’t have to be in the same room as our therapist to receive quality mental health care. As much as life is changing right now, the way we tend to our mental health has never been more important. Teletherapy, or therapy that’s done via video chat online or by phone, is an excellent option to continue therapy services while still following public health guidelines to practice social distance or self quarantine.
A global pandemic isn’t the only time teletherapy can come in handy either – have you ever had to cancel or reschedule an appointment because of a transportation or childcare issue?
With teletherapy, many of the barriers to traditional therapy are removed so you can focus solely on the therapeutic experience.
The idea of teletherapy might seem weird at first. You’ve probably used video chat in the past to check in on friends and family, but not to talk to a therapist about your thoughts and feelings in depth. The idea of opening up to a computer screen might feel less tempting than talking to your therapist in person. Even though it might seem odd, I urge you to try it out. I’m betting you’ll find it to be a pleasantly comforting experience.
So why is now the perfect time to talk to a therapist?
Heightened anxiety and fear
Even if you’re not feeling it all of the time, the heightened sense of anxiety and fear that this virus has brought is exhausting. Anxiety and fear are already tricky emotions to process when we aren’t in a global crisis, but therapists are already seeing the impact our current state of affairs is having on peoples’ mental health. Talking to a therapist can help you manage the “new normal” turn life has taken, as well as continuing to work on the things that were concerns for you before the crisis happened.
Processing this whirlwind of emotions
With everything changing so quickly, it probably feels like you’ve experienced some sort of emotional whiplash. It’s really tiring, mentally and physically, to cycle through so many emotions. People are feeling confused, afraid, hopeless, untrusting, paranoid, grief, resentment, boredom, etc. The list goes on. We’re in uncharted territory right now, and you can never have too much support.
Reducing the effects of social isolation
Not everyone is lucky enough to have company while they practice social distancing or quarantine. Spending extended time alone can feel isolating, especially when there’s no end in sight, and you’re cut off from your normal social activities. Many therapy practices are offering groups in an online format so you can interact with folks outside of your therapist, and one on one video sessions can be a nice way to check in on how you’re feeling, especially while quarantined. It can also be a much needed time for yourself if you’re isolated in your home with your family.
Establishing a human connection
Possibly the weirdest part of this whole experience is the lack of human connection that a quarantine requires. While we are lucky to be able to keep up with our friends and family via social media, there’s nothing like having a real conversation with someone, one where your concerns are the focus. Even if that conversation happens over a webcam, having a designated space where you can open up, be vulnerable, and feel heard can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. We’re all going to have to adjust our routines as this continues, but making time for therapy can help you feel connected to the world in more than just a superficial way.
Helping local businesses stay afloat
This pandemic has obviously had an effect on every part of life in the United States (and elsewhere too, of course), and we’re all going to have to pitch in to help our favorite small businesses make it to the other side. If you’re struggling (or your kids or relationships are), or any of the points above resonate with you, finding a therapist for teletherapy services is a great way of getting the support you need while also supporting a local business.
Of course, online therapy isn’t right for everyone, but it is a fantastic option for folks who are a good fit. It can be hard to do teletherapy with young children, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no support available. Parent coaching can be done online and offers parents direct support practices to use with their kids, especially during tough times like a quarantine. Did you know therapists can do play therapy online? Or that therapists can work on trauma using EMDR on video? Or that therapists can do therapy over the phone if technology isn’t your jam?
Therapy is no longer reserved for people who can take time out of their schedules to attend sessions in person. While this pandemic is devastating in a number of ways, one silver lining is that we can find new ways to support our well being while still doing our part to keep the community healthy. To learn more about what to expect in an online therapy session, get in touch with us today!