Coping with Mental Health in the COVID-19 Era of Uncertainty
Are you struggling with the uncertainty and instability of the COVID-19 era?
If so, you are not alone.
Many people in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world are having a difficult time adjusting to this “new normal” (though we are really not comfortable with this term!).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that people are being forced to deal with the sudden and stark realities of this global pandemic, and how some are finding ways to battle through it and come out relatively intact on the (hopefully) other side.
How a Global Pandemic Changed Our Local & Immediate Reality
COVID-19 was something that most of us saw as yet another news story, an event that was taking place somewhere on the horizon, mostly away from us. Then we saw it moving closer – at first, more slowly, then gaining momentum and potential scope of impact more quickly as the days passed by.
Soon enough, most of us were stuck at home, in quarantine or isolation, trying to make sense of it all.
This brought on a lot of questions.
- What just happened?
- How am I going to stay safe (and keep my loved ones safe)?
- How long is this going to continue?
- What will be my economic reality?
- How do we get through this?
For some people, the adjustment means a sudden and unusually large amount of time spent at home.
Maybe that means working from home.
Or it’s about students home from school.
They say, “the family that plays together stays together.” But what happens when the family is cooped up in COVID quarantine and is forced to stay together too much?!
The Mental Health Dangers of Isolation and Loneliness
Even for people who live alone, the isolation is unhealthy and has brought on a large amount of mental & emotional health issues. Depression and anxiety cases are on the rise. Concerns of suicide have even become heightened.
Others cannot go out or even see loved ones due to their own physical immune issues, either due to age or other health complications. And nobody knows for how long this will continue.
Couples in Home Isolation Finding Relationships Are Strained
For many in a marriage or domestic partnership, this sudden and much bigger amount of time together is pushing them to the limits.
“You’re in my space!”
That’s an all-too-familiar refrain heard in many households right about now.
What is the couple to do?
Nobody Knows How Long This Will Go on or What the Future Looks Like
One of the major challenges presented to us by the COVID-19 pandemic boils down to one word:
We weren’t asked to stay at home for a fixed period of time. For most of us, it’s been a few months. For many, the duration of the isolation and economic slowdown is uncertain.
It’s bad enough that we have to stay at home, and/or keep our social circles very limited.
What’s worse, we don’t know how long we’re doing this for.
Yes, Ottawa and Ontario are seeing a lessening of restrictions going into Summer 2020.
But how long will this last for?
Will the COVID-19 numbers spike once again? They could, either as we open up (as is happening in many US states) and/or when a “second wave” hits (and future “third waves,” “fourth waves,” etc.)
The lucky ones get to stay at home, we should add.
Economic Uncertainty, Health Uncertainty
Some people have no choice but to go to work, and risk exposure to the virus every day. These are the front line workers. But that doesn’t only mean Ottawa doctors and nurses. We’re talking about OC Transpo drivers, grocery store (and LCBO) workers, and anyone else who has front-facing roles in a workplace.
Even worse off are people who have lost their jobs. They’d give anything to be able to work. Yes, the CERB benefits are helping, but that doesn’t usually cover rent or mortgage and all the bills – and it’s limited in time duration.
On top of all this, many in Ottawa and across Canada have suffered true loss, the loss of a loved one, to COVID-19.
Yet others are struggling through their own health issues, having become infected and fighting to survive.
When Will This All End?
One of the biggest frustrations in all of this is that nobody knows when it will end. Or how.
Will a vaccine be invented? And when would it become available?
Will a successful treatment for COVID-19 be found?
How fast will the virus continue to spread?
Even if we’ve “flattened the curve,” are most of us going to end up becoming infected over time?
These and other questions remain, at the time of this article being written, unanswered.
That’s a tremendous mental & emotional burden for all of us to bear!
It’s a rough world right now – and that’s an understatement!
Resources Available to Help You Get Through This Era of Uncertainty
We much prefer the term “Era of Uncertainty” to the unfortunately named “New Normal.”
After all, there’s nothing normal about this.
We’re all trying to adjust. We’re all struggling to adapt.
We’re all facing this uncertainty together – and yet, apart.
How can you find ways to get through this?
We see it as a matter of two choices.
Try your best to go through it alone.
Or find someone who can help.
Admittedly, most people try to go it alone. Some do better than others. For some, it’s their community and/or faith that help them through the rough times.
These are, however, more than just the usual rough times.
Now more than ever, the need is great for someone to talk to, someone who has the experience and training to guide you through and facilitate your journey through tough mental health and emotional issues. That’s where counselling and therapy come in.
How Ottawa Counselling & Therapy Can Help with Issues Related to the COVID-19 Era
Whether you’ve been in counselling before and are feeling a downward swing again due to COVID-19 impacts, or you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or other issues for what seems like the first time, we can help.
Counselling and therapy are an excellent way to work through one’s issues. The benefits of seeing a therapist, counsellor or registered social worker for a mental health issue are many.
At Capital Choice Counselling, we have a network of counsellors and therapists across Ottawa who are experienced in helping clients work through issues ranging from depression and anxiety to couple’s counselling, grief counselling and much more.
Contact one of our trained, experienced and compassionate counsellors or therapists today to find out more and to get started on your road through recovery and living a stronger life.
We now have remote therapy and e-counselling available as well.