Anyone out there without stress right now? There are many reasons to not be feeling like our best selves right now. With COVID-19 continuing to effect our daily lives or health concerns, social justice movements picking up speed, and political issues pulling us in every direction; there has been no shortage of stressors to weigh us down over the last few months. All that stress can easily take a long-term toll on our mental health and relationships.
Even though we know these things that are happening are hard on us, it can still feel challenging to admit that we’re struggling and want to see a therapist. We might tell ourselves that other people have it worse than we do, or that everyone is having a hard time right now so our needs aren’t that important. We might worry that people will reject us, judge us for needing help, or that they’ll think we’re incapable.
I get it. I personally have felt all those feelings and thought all those thoughts. I know how hard it is and how vulnerable it feels to reach out and tell someone you need a little extra support.
I’m here to tell you that seeking out help or going to therapy does not make you weak, helpless, or irrational. By choosing to see a therapist, you are choosing to listen to your body and take care of yourself, which is one of the most important things you can do in tough times.
You might be thinking, “What good is therapy actually going to do? Isn’t it basically just venting?” Short answer: Sometimes! We all have things we need to get out of our system every now and again, and who better to hear it than a therapist? Not only do we hold space for you to get out your frustrations, but once we hear what’s going on, we can help you explore what your feelings are, why you’re feeling them, and how to cope with them moving forward.
You might also be thinking, “I’ve been to therapy before and it didn’t help. Why should I try again?” It’s common for it to take a little bit of time before therapy feels like it’s helping. It’s also totally normal to have to try out a couple therapists before you find someone who is really a good fit for you and helps you make progress. Think about it this way: If you went to a new hairstylist and they gave you a bad haircut, you probably wouldn’t stop getting haircuts for the rest of your life––you would just try a different hairstylist! And, just like haircuts, therapy is a normal part of taking care of your wellbeing.
And now you might be thinking, “Yeah, maybe I should give therapy a try!” If that’s the case, we would love to work with you at EVOLVEwithin. Just give us a call at (262) 649-3297. If you’re not totally sure just yet, that’s okay too. We’ll be here for you whenever you’re ready!
Article contribution by Tabitha Schroeder, MS, MFT-IT
When I say "COVID-19" or "Coronavirus", what does that evoke in you? For many of us, this is an extremely difficult time in our world full of unprecedented change and lack of preferred routine and structure. Whether it be working from home when you usually spend 40 hours a week in the office, or learning how to be a “homeschooling parent,” or having to social distance and isolate because it is harmful to our health to go to any social gatherings or public places.
Maybe your wedding got postponed. Perhaps your child’s graduation ceremony got cancelled. Whatever the case is, we are all experiencing a time of turmoil and increased stress amidst trying to find our new normal. With these drastic changes and increased stress comes increased anxiety and depression, both in individuals who already experience these mental health struggles and in individuals who have never had anxiety or depression before.
The purpose of this article is to briefly describe signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in yourself and in your loved ones. With this information, it is our hope as mental health professionals that you feel some sense or normalcy and calm knowing that you are most certainly not alone, and that there are some wonderful resources available to you in the form of self-care (i.e. taking care of yourself and your anxiety/depression) as well as professional assistance.
The current pandemic is causing levels of uncertainty that many of us have never experienced before. With that said, increased stress, anxiety, and/or depression is normal and expected, especially due to the fear that COVID-19 has created in society and in our personal lives. How do you recognize anxiety and depression? What are the signs and symptoms that you or a loved one may be feeling? Let’s start with anxiety.
Ultimately, anxiety is a feeling of worry or unease that may be associated with a particular event or situation and is often made worse by apprehension over an uncertain outcome. You can look at anxiety as stress’s older, more cumbersome and intense brother. Below are some typical signs and symptoms of anxiety, although keep in mind that anxiety may present itself differently from person to person and this is not an exhaustive list.
Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety:
Next, let’s look at the definition and signs/symptoms of depression. Depression is referred to as a mood disorder that can cause an intense and consistent feeling of sadness, lack of interest, or low self-esteem in an individual. Depression can present itself in various ways can can vary significantly from person to person, including the severity of symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms of Depression:
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above signs & symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, related to the COVID-19 pandemic or not, there are an abundance of resources available to you when reaching out to a mental health professional.
From your local therapist, the following are suggestions for self-care related to stress, anxiety, and depression that you can do at home.
If you feel as though these home tips just aren’t enough, please seek help from an appropriate therapist or counselor. Many therapists are now seeing clients via telehealth (through a computer, smart phone, or phone calls).
Here at EVOLVEwithin, we are taking new clients via telehealth and will soon return to in-person sessions when it is safe to do so. You can contact us directly at 262-649-3297 to schedule an appointment!
Take care of your inner self. Both COVID-19 and mental health are pretty invisible, but that doesn’t make them less important. These areas of focus within our health is not something to overlook.
Article contribution by Hannah Stadler, MS, MFT-IT