Transition and Change: COVID-19 consequences

The last year has been difficult for each of us – our neighbors and the world. There are many consequences of the epidemic, transition and change largely driven by increased social isolation, economic consequences and generally negative news*. People are drinking more, women are losing financial and career gains, dentists are seeing more cracked teeth from stress and an increase in problems related to anxiety and depression.

Even for those that have not lost jobs or loved ones during the pandemic, the shift to on-line for treatment and socializing has been challenging. Many of us feel more isolated from their colleagues and friends and are less able to maintain boundaries between work and home life. “Zoom fatigue” is real and it can be difficult to find quiet spaces and privacy for work, therapy or personal time. Those working from home may have a lesser risk of COVID, but at the same time experience increased social and emotional isolation.

With children not in school, normal routines are disrupted, and parents assume dual roles as teachers. Some find themselves unable to care for others in the same way that they would like, including elderly relatives. Many have experienced profound grief and loss.

In this environment, there has never been a more important time to practice self-care. Distress and burnout can be balanced with good habits and positive activities. We are all working within the constraints of a new reality and we need to balance our time and set realistic goals. A long-term view and practicing resilience is critical.

The pandemic will not go away overnight, even with more vaccines and wider education and awareness. Each individual will continue to be challenged to find strategies to counteract boredom, anger, excessive daydreaming, fatigue or feelings of loss of enjoyment.  It is encouraging that more people are reading books, enjoying pets and finding safe ways to spend time with family and friends.

We are truly in this together. Please reach out for help. I am happy to take your call to discuss your needs.

*Transitions, Transformation, And Tele-mental Health In Clinical Practice, Clinical Health, American Psychological Association, Dr. Barnett, Feb 5, 2021.