How to care for your mental health when therapy offices are closed

Macey MacArthur, Feature Editor

The world is in a chaotic state. Airlines are shut down, hospitals are overcrowded, public spaces are emptier than ever before.

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Many people feel overwhelmed with lack of job availability, school work, finances, and the current state of world health.

With everyone shut inside, it is a trying time for many people; however, the disabled and mentally ill populations are suffering immensely right now for many reasons. Firstly, many people who suffer from depression will notice that being inside for days on end without social contact feels eerily similar to a depression spiral. Those with obsessive-compulsive disorder may be triggered by the huge push to wash hands and clean more than usual. People on the autism spectrum or other developmental disorders struggle without a strict schedule or with large changes in daily routines. On top of all of this normal support services are not available, such as therapy. While this is a taxing time for those with mental health issues, tons of people see therapists each day and everyone is having to do without them. Here are some ideas for how to stick to a schedule and maintain a good self care routine during this worldwide shutdown:

 

Zoom Meetings 

Many therapists are still offering virtual sessions through the Zoom platform. Talk to your office about an online session, and continue on as normally as possible! 

 

Lists

Make a list of all the good advice and skills you’ve previously learned through therapy or  counseling that have helped in the past. Having a gallery of coping skills to reflect on can be useful for when you need them. 

 

It also may be helpful to list simple self care ideas such as breathing exercises, taking a walk, or even a face mask and a movie night. 

 

Get Creative 

Plenty of therapists encourage the use of art to express emotions. While we are all stuck inside anyway you might as well pick up on some new hobbies. Draw pictures of your favorite place to go, print free adult coloring book pages, even finger painting is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. 

 

Hold Yourself Accountable 

As mentioned above, being stuck inside without a workroom setting can feel oddly similar to spirals those with depression often face. A way to combat that is to make sure you’re still staying busy! Set alarms throughout the day, make checklists, even rewarding yourself for getting things done are all ways to stay up on your feet and turning in assignments. 

 

While none of this is a replacement for therapy, it can help to paint it out, stay active, and do your best to maintain a schedule. 

 

For those who feel they may suffer from depression, anxiety, or who may show symptoms of any developmental disorders, you can visit these websites for more information: 

 

Depression 

Anxiety

Developmental Disorders