Coronavirus Anxiety – How To Cope With COVID-19

Coronavirus Anxiety And How To Cope With COVID-19

By James Wickersham, LMSW, CAADC

Most of the westernized world is currently at a stand-still due to a fast-spreading virus known as COVID-19. Originating from China, this virus quickly spread to the US and other nations and it has changed everyday life for many people. People that once went to work are now either unemployed or working from home. Many have children and significant others or family members that they now need to care for. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the Coronavirus has the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure (CDC, 2020.). You may experience heightened anxiety due to the coronavirus and may be looking for ways to help you cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of these uncertain developments including shelter in place orders and new directives posed by governing bodies is only adding to the stress felt by all individuals. Media bias and inaccurate reporting only fuels this anxiety. In times of such uncertainty, coping with daily life and isolation can be difficult. It can be even harder if you have mental health concerns or co-occurring disorders such as Substance Use Disorders. Below are some ways to cope with the ever-changing environment produced by COVID-19.

7 Tips To Help Cope With Anxiety Due To The Coronavirus

  1. Limit the time you spend on social media and watching the news. This should be a number one priority. When you do research regarding the virus, make sure that you are reading non-biased and accurate sources such as the CDC website. Additionally, setting time limits for yourself on your devices will help lower your anxiety. Setting your screen time limit for social media to ten minutes a day and turning off your notifications while you are in isolation can have great benefits for your mental health. It will help de-stimulate your brain and help you remain relaxed while lowering your cortisol levels.
  1. Make social connection with your family a priority. Even though we are all supposed to be practicing social distancing, making time to connect with your loved ones daily will help boost your morale and help you feel less isolated.
  1. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and make going outside a priority. Outside isn’t cancelled. Exercise isn’t cancelled. Taking care of yourself isn’t cancelled. It can be easy in times of stress to sit on our butts all day and binge watch our favorite TV show’s on Netflix (Yes, we’re still watching!)  but in times of high stress, it’s important to keep our bodies moving. Exercise has been consistently shown to have positive benefits on mental and physical health. So has being outside. Strive for 30 minutes or aerobic exercise a day.
  1. Pray or meditate. Connect with your spirituality. It’s also been shown that taking just ten deep breaths every hour can have significant impacts on your mental health. Additionally, meditation has been shown to have effects long after you make it a habit. If you always make excuses that you don’t have time to practice positive coping skills to manage stress and self-regulate, now is your chance!
  1. Join an online support group. If you have mental health issues or substance abuse concerns and are suddenly finding yourself unable to go to your support groups, go online! If you’re suddenly finding yourself unable to cope with all of this uncertainty, go online! Look for help and you shall receive it!
  1. Focus on what you can control and give yourself a daily schedule. If you are suddenly unemployed or now have a lot more responsibilities than you did before, give you and your family some structure. It will help with the boredom and isolation. Make sure you carve out time for sleep, going outside, exercise and eating right. Focus on developing healthy habits that you CAN control instead of focusing on all the things you CAN’T control right now.
  1. Make sure you are following doctors’ orders and taking universal precautions. It is recommended by the CDC that you should wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and frequently disinfect surfaces. You should also follow all of your doctors’ orders to maximize your health. Additionally, many mental health practitioners are switching to online counseling services during this time. It is still possible to engage in mental health services and many insurance companies are accepting these services if they were not before. If you find yourself struggling to cope in these uncertain times, contact your insurance company or look online for Teletherapy health services.

Everything is kind of scary right now. Everyone staying at home is scared; essential workers are scared; those at a higher risk are scared; but focusing on what we can control is important. Together we can get through this crisis and flatten the curve. If you are experiencing anxiety due to the coronavirus or are struggling to cope with COVID-19 and need someone to talk to Landmark Therapy is here to help! Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (248) 931-0016 for a free consultation.

5 Tips for Dealing with Loss & Overcoming Grief

5 Tips for Dealing with Loss & Overcoming Grief in Michigan

Most of us will face dealing with loss multiple times throughout our lives. Overcoming grief is often associated with the death of a loved one or loss of a partner through breakup or divorce. But other losses can cause grieving as well. Loss of a meaningful job, having a child develop a life-changing disability, or moving away can profoundly affect your life and cause grief.

As difficult as it may seem when dealing with loss, overcoming grief is possible. Grief counseling in Michigan can support and show you how to overcome the loss. The following tips will also help you through the process of overcoming grief.

How to move past grief

  1.  Accept your feelings. There are no right or wrong feelings when dealing with loss. Grieving can bring about a myriad of emotions, which is a normal response and part of the healing process. The alternative is to deny or bury your feelings. Neither of these is healthy because subconsciously, those feelings will remain. As a result, unresolved grief can crop up down the road and in other areas of your life, and undermine your happiness, well-being, and relationships. So accept your feelings and allow yourself to experience them fully. Doing so will help you to process and work through your emotions and begin to heal.
  2. Practice self-care. When dealing with loss, it’s easy to put taking care of yourself on the back burner. You may not feel like cooking healthy meals and be too fatigued to exercise. You may let doctor appointments slip. The last thing you may care about is how you look. As a result, you look and feel less healthy, which only serves to fuel your sadness and grief. No matter how down you may feel, prioritize self-care. Make a special effort to eat healthily, get daily exercise, and take time for grooming.
  3. Take advantage of your support system. In overcoming grief, it’s essential to lean on family and friends. When dealing with loss, you may not feel very sociable. But your support system can bring you solace. It provides people who will listen to you without judgment and even the opportunity to reminisce about your loss. Supportive family and friends can also provide a distraction from your pain. Taking breaks from your sorrow is an essential ingredient in overcoming grief. Professional help, such as grief counseling in Michigan, can also provide you valuable support.
  4. Try not to obsess. When you experience loss, your mind can become a broken record. It may try to convince you that you’ll never be able to move on. You may ruminate about unlikely, distressing scenarios. If you find yourself obsessing, try a thought-stopping technique. Allow yourself 15 minutes each day to obsess. At the end of 15 minutes, snap your fingers, or say ‘stop’ out loud. Outside of those 15 minutes, when you catch yourself obsessing or thinking negatively, immediately snap your fingers and get back to your day. If you need help overcoming obsessive thoughts, grief counseling in Michigan can help you resolve your negative thinking.
  5. Allow yourself to feel happiness. When dealing with loss, particularly of a loved one, you may find it difficult to experience pleasure or feel guilty when you do. But experiencing joy and happiness is crucial to overcoming grief. So find at least a couple of ways to experience happiness each day. Take a walk in the park, watch your favorite sitcom or a funny video, listen to some upbeat music, or do something fun with a friend. Gradually, you’ll become more comfortable with experiencing happiness, which will help you in overcoming grief.

If you’d like to talk with a counselor, Landmark Therapy offers grief counseling in Michigan to anyone residing in the state. Counseling is available via online telehealth or at our Troy, Michigan counseling center. Give us a call today! (248) 931-0016

What Anxiety Looks Like for Men

Anxiety may look different from one man to another. So what are the signs?

Anxiety is the most common type of mental illness in men. The reality is, a lot of men all over the world have anxiety these days. The statistics shows that up to 20% of men suffer from anxiety disorders during their lifetime. And of course, psychologists are deeply concerned about these numbers.

It’s important to know that men and women deal with anxiety attacks differently. Anxiety can cause different symptoms in men. Men feel nervous, have sleep disorders, experience headaches or worry a lot when they suffer from intense anxiety attacks. However, there are also other signs of anxiety in men. Anxious men may experience muscle aches. Anxiety symptoms in men also include alcohol and drug abuse. Oftentimes, anxiety disorders in men result in anger. It’s important to note that anxious men often express anger over insignificant things.

It goes without saying that anxiety always has to be taken seriously. If left untreated, anxiety can make things even worse. In the worst case scenario, anxiety can even result in suicide. Recent studies have found that there is the link between anxiety disorders and suicide attempts. According to the opinion of the famous psychology professor from Harvard, Matthew K. Nock, anxiety disorders are a big problem for panicky people. When facing difficult situations in their life such individuals usually try to escape instead of trying to find the way to deal with hard times.

Another well-known professor of psychology, Michael Addis, points out that the vast majority of anxious men choose not to seek for medical help when dealing with tough situations in their life. The problem is that men tend to consider getting this type of assistance as weakness. As a result, men with anxiety disorders don’t contact mental health professionals for help and, therefore, they don’t get the necessary treatment for their issues. If this happens, things will most likely get worse. However, men usually agree to receive a treatment for anxiety when they face a work crisis.

The big question is – how to convince a man to get a treatment for anxiety? The psychology professor, Dean McKay, says that it’s not a good idea to use ultimatums for this purpose. The professors say that ultimatums are likely to result in the resistance to treatment. He recommends loved ones to tell anxious men that the quality of their life will improve dramatically after treatment. It’s incredibly important to explain men with mental disorders that anxiety has a huge negative impact on the quality of their life. Also, you need to show an anxious man that you take care of him.

Actually, it’s normal for people to feel anxious or nervous. However, things are likely to go wrong if a person can’t keep the situation under control. Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression. It’s worth noting that anxiety disorders as well as depression negatively affect the entire people’s life (family life, relationships, work and many other aspects).

Anxiety disorders can be effectively treated. Treatment for anxiety is about changing the way of thinking and taking antidepressants. Medications such as Lexapro and Prozac are widely used for anxiety treatment these days. Using the words like “anxiety” and “depression” should be avoided during the treatment process. It also makes a lot of sense to replace the words like “treatment” and “therapy” with the words such as “coaching”, “performance improvement training” and so on. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy takes approximately 12 – 15 weeks.

Depression Counseling: The Best In Clarkston & Waterford

Depression Counseling: The Best In Clarkston & Waterford

Depression is a health condition that has become prevalent in today’s world. Generally characterized by persistently low mood, the condition affects people of all ages, right from children as young as 6 years through to people in their 50’s, 60’s and even more.

What is even more surprising is that up to 60 percent of people living with depression don’t have access to or have never considered seeing a Clarkston depression therapist.

The truth of the matter is, consulting a Continue reading “Depression Counseling: The Best In Clarkston & Waterford”

Challenges Of Young Adults

Challenges of Young Adults in Michigan

If you are a young adult between the age of 18 and 30, you are experiencing a period of life that is both exciting and tumultuous. Some young adults are starting jobs in the workforce, going off to college, starting relationships, or beginning to live on one’s own. During this stage of life, they may be moving into new and unfamiliar adult roles and responsibilities. Young adults can be suddenly expected to accept legal responsibility, make important decisions, and begin supporting themselves financially. Continue reading “Challenges Of Young Adults”

Coping With Depression in Michigan

Coping with Depression in Michigan

Do feel down from time to time? Are feelings of hopelessness and guilt interfering with your daily functioning? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing depression. Feeling down every now and then is a common experience for most people. However, when negative emotions such as irritability and despair take hold, it can become debilitating. Continue reading “Coping With Depression in Michigan”

Online Counseling In Michigan

Online Counseling In Michigan

For those who have considered seeking counseling in Michigan, but struggle to find the time to fit it in to already full schedules, there is a possible solution that might work for you. There is a growing demand for telehealth services. First and foremost, what is telehealth? In terms of therapy, telehealth means using electronic information and telecommunication technologies to facilitate long-distance counseling sessions. In other words, it would be like seeing your therapist on a video conferencing platform similar to Skype or Zoom but with added digital protections to keep you and your information absolutely safe, private, and HIPPA compliant. Continue reading “Online Counseling In Michigan”

A Goal Achieved Is Something To Celebrate!

A Goal Achieved Is Something To Celebrate!

Setting goals can be a very empowering endeavor! They give you the control to guide your life in whatever direction desired. It is a great feeling to know that your success does not have to depend on anyone else. You can take command of your life by following a plan and taking action one step at a time. Continue reading “A Goal Achieved Is Something To Celebrate!”