With the spread of novel coronavirus, many people find themselves faced with disappointment on a profound level. They’ve had to cancel travel plans made months ago, and some can’t get their money back for hotels and flights. Normal daily activities are out. For most, that means no more going to the gym, out to eat, or to a Friday night concert to blow off some steam. While there are pictures of people on spring break living it up on Florida beaches, most people around the U.S. are trying to stay home. Those who can are currently working from home. People who thrive on co-worker interaction or other social situations are suddenly feeling very cut off from other people. And even those with introverted personalities are starting to experience cabin fever, but Talkspace has some solutions.
To make matters worse, with so many faced with unemployment, food insecurity, and catching COVID-19, some may feel like they don’t have a right to feel disappointed. “It could be so much worse,” they tell themselves. They’re the lucky ones because they’re healthy, have savings, can work from home, and have strong family support. So they’re pushing those disappointing emotions down, feeling ashamed that they have them.
But here’s the truth: No one is alone in this. Many people feel disappointed. Most people are afraid, sad, and angry. Those are healthy emotions in response to the current situation. People can manage them without bottling them up, which is very unhealthy. Rather, it’s important to talk about how you feel, and if you don’t have anyone who’ll listen, sometimes using a remote therapy service like Talkspace is the best solution.
Talkspace on Dealing With Disappointment Around COVID-19
The CDC has put out some excellent recommendations for coping with disappointment and emotional stress. It advises that people:
- Take breaks from the media.
- Avoid listening to or reading the same scary news over and over.
- Avoid neglecting their bodies and minds. Everyone needs exercise, adequate sleep, and proper nutrition to improve immune system function and reduce stress.
- Take some alone time. This is especially hard for those with kids at home, but people should try to give themselves at least 10–60 minutes a day to de-stress.
- Stay connected. People should speak with loved ones on the phone or via video chat, especially older relatives and friends who need comfort.
- Remember that this is temporary, and most things can be rescheduled. There will be some losses, but we’re all in this together.
Listening to Emotions and Attending to Those Needs
The Talkspace community recommends that people:
- Set boundaries at home. If people are continually talking about coronavirus, and it increases anxiety, people need to be able to share how they’re feeling. Right now, everyone needs to work together to reduce stress at home. But each person can only be responsible for themselves ultimately, so it’s important to remember that you can’t control what others do.
- Stick with factual news sources. People should avoid fear-mongering voices and conspiracy theorists. Most of these personalities get paid to stir people up. That’s not what people need right now when anxiety levels are at their peak. People need to work toward feeling safe and calm and helping others do the same.
- Speak with a professional. Racing emotions can lead to dark thoughts or actions. People should be aware of obsessive thinking and downward spirals and reach out for help while they still have the forethought to do so.
Supporting Loved Ones
To care for loved ones, people can:
- Lead by example. Help your kids express how they’re feeling and manage stress. Children model their parents’ behavior, even into their teens. People shouldn’t try to hide how they’re feeling, but they can show their children that they’re working through their feelings.
- Be a voice of reason without discounting how people feel. People can help each other talk it out and separate the real dangers from those that many are creating in their minds.
- Reassure the elderly and those with compromised immune systems that they’re taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
- Follow CDC and local guidelines together.
- Use virtual tools like Skype and FaceTime to meet with loved ones virtually.
For First Responders and Those Supporting the Less Fortunate
Many people, like healthcare providers, serve their communities in essential roles. Like soldiers on the front lines, they’re undoubtedly dealing with exceptional stress levels, some of which may become traumatic. It’s essential for people in these roles to:
- Accept this a traumatic event. It may have a long-lasting emotional impact on them.
- Know the early symptoms of COVID-19, so they can both identify potential cases to reduce exposure and quickly quarantine patients if they develop symptoms.
- Attend to personal care every day.
- Keep a grateful journal. Write in it every morning or night. An old-fashioned journal and pen work best. If they’re having trouble sleeping, they can jot some things down before bed to ease their minds.
- Remember, emotional responses impact people physically. The immune system and ability to help others are at their best when people care for themselves first. People can also choose to speak with a mental health professional like those on Talkspace. They can talk with licensed therapists on any device and through several convenient methods like text, video chat, phone call.
How Services Like Talkspace Can Help
Sometimes, just talking it out with someone who’ll listen can help. Professionals are available on services like Talkspace, so people don’t have to go anywhere to get the support they need.
Many may not realize that Talkspace or a similar remote therapy service may be available through their employers’ employee assistance programs. This may make it free of charge. And if not, these services are streamlined to keep their costs low, so they can charge less than the cost of traditional therapy.
Most people have never seen this level of daily disruption in their lifetimes. It’s essential to keep things in perspective and focus on caring for yourself first so that you can better care for others. Work to stay healthy and well, and don’t forget to pay attention to your emotional health.