Category Archives: counseling

How to Stay Sane While Practicing Social Distancing

How to Stay Sane While Practicing Social Distancing

Thus far, the majority of our conversations about COVID-19 have focused on physical health and how to prevent this disease from spreading. But if you’re like most people, covid-19 has you feeling a little nervous, too. As a therapist, I know that mental health is just as important to consider in these uncertain times. Anxieties about unemployment, the economy, or going to work because you’re considered a necessary worker are all very common. So here are some tips to stay sane while practicing social distancing and coping with the stress and overwhelm of coronavirus.

Mental Health Tips for social distancing

1. Access Free or Discounted Resources on Social Media

Something that I’ve observed in the past several weeks is that fitness Instagram accounts, life coaches, and spiritual gurus are offering their content at a discounted price, or for free. For example, my partner and I just finished a seven-day relationship course that sparked deep, meaningful conversations about our values, expectations, and relationship vision. Try using some of your down time to better understand yourself and your partner!

routine in kitchen2. Maintain Your Routine 

Working or going to school from home comes with the temptation to sleep in or get distracted with household chores. With these distractions present, it may be helpful to hold yourself to parts of your normal day-to-day routine. Do you usually workout at 6am? Continue doing so. Do you usually start work at 9am? Try holding yourself to that, even if you do not necessarily have to. This can help maintain boundaries between work and down time, even though they are occurring in the same space.

3. Embrace Stillness

With so much uncertainty about when stay at home orders will come to an end there is an overwhelming air of anxiety and fear. Remember, that you can achieve a sense of internal peace by living in the present moment as much as possible. It may be helpful to add meditation or yoga to your daily routine at this time. Feeling short on time? Try bringing your awareness to your breath for ten minutes each day. Pay attention to what it feels like as air is moving through your nose. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Remember, meditation can be simple!

boring marriage4. Limit Television and Social Media

Something that has been largely beneficial to me in the past few weeks has been limiting media of all forms. Yes, it is important to stay informed. However, when the majority of your conversations and the media you consume are about COVID-19, it can be overwhelming. Pay attention to how you feel on days when you spend a lot of time watching the news. Then, compare this to how you feel on days that you spend less time doing so and more time engaging in self-care and spending time with loved ones. If you notice a positive shift, consider limiting media use for the next few weeks.

5. Reconnect with Friends and Family Members

I’m sure you’ve heard this a time or two, but now more than ever it is important to maintain contact with friends and family members. As humans, we are wired for connection and belonging. For this reason, social isolation has the potential to cause an uptick in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Go the extra mile and reconnect with friends and family who you haven’t heard from in a long time. Sick of COVID-19 talk? It may be important to set boundaries around the topics you do and do not want to discuss.

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author:

Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old. Michaela stays sane while practicing social distancing by reminding herself how happy her dog is.

What your Therapist REALLY Thinks About You

What your Therapist REALLY Thinks About You

When you go to counseling, your therapist is mandated to keep what you talk about confidential. So people sit on our couches and tell us their deepest, darkest secrets. They tell us the most embarrassing things they don’t want anyone else to know about. I’ve heard stories about incest, abuse, affairs, and illegitimate love children nobody… Continue Reading

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: 3 Questions to Ask Before Ending your Marriage

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: 3 Questions to Ask Before Ending your Marriage

You got married thinking…no…knowing that this is it! There was no better person for you in this world. The love that you felt the day you said “I do” was going to last forever. And now, that love seems like such a distant memory. You find yourself wondering if it was ever real or was it a figment… Continue Reading

Mental Health and Your Child- Part 4: The Parent/Therapist Partnership

Mental Health and Your Child- Part 4: The Parent/Therapist Partnership

  Making the decision to seek counseling for your child can be overwhelming. In part 1 of this series, we talked about how and where to find a good therapist and in part 2 we covered finding a good fit for you, your child, and your family. And in our most recent section we covered… Continue Reading

Mental Health and Your Child Part 1: Finding a Therapist

Mental Health and Your Child Part 1: Finding a Therapist

Making the decision to take your child to counseling can be overwhelming. Mental health care can be tough to navigate with its many options and can be intimidating for families just starting down this path. In this series, I’ll attempt to clarify some questions that come up most often when families decide to seek support… Continue Reading

Five Family Therapy Exercises You Don’t Need Therapy to Do

The first couple sessions of family counseling can be difficult as you navigate a new relationship with a counselor and share your families’ struggles. Once in family counseling all of that hard work clears a path for new ways of communicating and re-building those relationships that you have missed. But as a family counselor, I… Continue Reading

How To Talk To Your Child About Going to Counseling

Going to counseling can be a scary idea for anyone. Call it therapy and that makes it even scarier. Your child might feel worried, scared, anxious, angry, and more about going to counseling. Depending on your reasons for seeking counseling, your child might not have been involved in the decision to go, magnifying these emotions… Continue Reading

Five Signs That You Need to See a Marriage Counselor

Five Signs That You Need to See a Marriage Counselor

Couples always try wait it out before seeing a marriage counselor. But when the pain becomes too much, they finally relent and go see one. The problem with this is that by the time couples finally go, there’s been so much pain and so much damage from waiting that it just makes it harder to… Continue Reading

How do We Get Our Old Relationship Back?

Aaron, My husband and I have been married for 18 years this November. We had a great relationship until about 12 years ago. We were always with each other and did lots of fun things together as a family. He had just landed a great job so we weren’t short on money. We were so… Continue Reading