An Effective Strategy for Dealing With The Stress and Anxiety of COVID-19.

Living in times such as these of a worldwide pandemic is surely extraordinary. Someday, we will be reading about these times in the history books. Hopefully when we read about 2020, there will be many lessons learned and hopefully relief and gratitude that those times would be behind us. However, we are currently living through 2020 and this pandemic, which has disrupted everyone’s lives.; some, in very dramatic and tragic ways.

As a psychotherapist in these trying times, I have seen an industry of strictly “in-person” therapy sessions be forced like the rest of the businesses and schools who could to “go virtual”. Since March/April of this year, psychotherapists continued working behind a computer screen for the first time. Time and time again, the effects of the pandemic were felt in a very real way by adults who may have lost their jobs or be forced to figure out a remote work-from-home solution to the children and teens who could no longer go to school in person and socialize with friends.

            Working from a mindfulness perspective, meditation and breathing practices became as important as ever. However, the very real reality of the frustration of staying home, or “missing out” on something important among other similar concerns continued to be difficult for clients.

            One good way to help combat the frustration and anger regarding the difficulty of the present moment is to utilize the meditation skill of  “going within” and visualizing some time in the future, a timeframe that feels far enough into the future where things are “back to normal” or perhaps even better than they ever were. Connecting with a time and space that feels good, safe and stable. It would be beneficial to spend some time here, focusing on the details and making it real in the mind’s eye.  The idea is to bring some of this positive feeling to this current reality, and although different, we can still connect to those higher or better feelings from a future experience where everything worked out fine in the end.

            Of course one can say “what if things don’t work out well in the future?” But then again, one can think this way regardless of a pandemic occurring, It is also better to make a habit of positive thinking as it leads to leading a happier life. The point is to feel better in the moment and this technique can help with that.

May you be well.

By: Yessica Avancena, LMFT, MBA, CMT