Compassionate Support For The Aspiring Professional



Covid-Fatigue and Stress: Mental Health Challenges Continue

Covid has worn us all down since it began, and it continues to take its toll emotionally. It seems stress levels should be dropping, particularly as we see less active Covid cases, but conversely, people are feeling just as stressed as ever.

Between new variants being discovered and the unknown factors of the economy, jobs, and challenges with catching up with lagging finances due to being laid off, we are far from being done with Covid-related stress. 

Levels of anxiety and depression have been high for the droves of people who have been heading into therapy since Covid-19 began. The uncertainty of life amidst a pandemic has caused many stressed-out people to seek help, and with so many more options available because of Zoom and other teleconference sites, the number of people seeking counseling has been unprecedented. 

Greater access has resulted in more utilization. The pandemic has magnified the value of easily accessed mental health services. Emotional health is as crucial to maintain as physical wellness. As the pandemic starts to turn a corner, the need for access to mental health services continues to rise. 

Upcoming Emotional Health Needs

As we begin to merge back to pre-covid-life (working, removing masks, spending more time in public areas, and socializing), many people may find that their anxiety and depression is more difficult to shake off than they had anticipated. For over a year we have been following CDC guidelines about masking and carefully sanitizing hands and trying to actively prevent the spread of the pandemic. 

Even though it has been a long, grueling time, we have become accustomed to these new rules of social engagement. Six-foot distancing guidelines and travel restrictions have kept us closer to home and brought a level of social isolation that we normally have not been required to practice. 

Fear about contracting Covid, and heightened precautions shifted our mindsets. It took a lot of fortitude to make it through those months of increased anxiety and stress. Many people became isolated as a result, and experienced loneliness and depressive symptoms. 

Therapists continue to see an uptick in clients as people seek help for anxiety and depression, as well as social isolation. Fear about the pandemic continues, even as people become wary of its presence. Now more than ever, counseling is a necessary service to help people from all walks of life process stress, anxiety, and depressive issues and improve their quality of life. 

Modalities that May Help

There are many different types of therapy that can help people manage the stress of Covid. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common and effective method that involves exploring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior, and the ways in which these three aspects of a person’s experience interact in daily life.

The way we think, feel and act influence our quality of life, and CBT helps determine aspects of each area that may be adjusted to improve our outcomes. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of treatment that helps with emotional regulation and learning ways to cope with difficult feelings in safe and effective ways. DBT helps people step back from strong emotions to see situations with greater clarity to make decisions that help ease emotional distress.

Often DBT and CBT offers homework for participants to help practice and solidify skills presented in therapy. Both modalities focus a lot on mindfulness and staying aware of the experiences of the mind and body. 

As we navigate Covid and the ups and downs that it brings, CBT and DBT skills can help build resilience. Ongoing access to mental health services will help people acclimate, reconnect with one another, and create meaning from the challenges that this pandemic has presented.