Has COVID-19 left you feeling like you have been swept off your feet, leaving you feeling off-centered?? Perhaps the emotional and mental stress surrounding the virus, the worry about your health and the health of your loved ones. Or maybe you have had to be a full-time caregiver to your family while also balancing your full-time job that has left you feeling not like yourself?
We all cope with stressful situations differently. While some may come out unscathed, others may be experiencing difficulties sleeping, greater anxiety, irritability, changes in their job performance, low moods, changes in eating habits, and feeling like they have to be constantly alert. Stress responses can show up in a variety of forms and often impede our thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and can even cause physical changes in our body. It is not uncommon for the effects of stress to linger, even after the stressful situation has ended.
First and foremost, it is important to recognize that what you went through was unexpected, unprecedented, and not easy. In these situations, it is especially important to offer yourself self-compassion, which can involve recognizing that the situation is hard, that everybody experiences suffering, and showing yourself kindness. Some other helpful techniques can include deep breathing to help bring you back to the present moment, taking control of your thoughts, creating a routine, adding back the things that you love into your schedule, like reading a book or taking a bath, or connecting with loved ones.
Sometimes the effects of prolonged stress may last longer or be more severe for some people. If you are experiencing such effects, counselling can help to process and integrate your experience. What you are experiencing is not uncommon, you are not alone. Let me help you start feeling like yourself again.