One of the main struggles that many of us are experiencing right now is the fact that life has changed so dramatically, and we have no idea how long that will last. We were forced to alter our routines as we knew them to adapt to the new circumstances. Moreover, we also no longer have the same freedoms that we enjoyed before, like moving around freely and going to places, being able to hug our friends and family, celebrating birthdays in person, or pursuing goals and plans we had set for ourselves.
This loss of our pre-COVID life and the not knowing if or when it may go back to “normal” can lead to various symptoms associated with grief. Sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, anger, frustration, rationalizing, and denial can all surface in response to coping with an incredibly difficult situation we simply did not have a playbook for. It can also impact the body, altering appetite, sleep, metabolism, and energy level. As we are trying to navigate through our new lives, we do not always have the tools and resources to process our feelings in healthy ways: gently accepting that it is okay to feel the way we do and then use ways to work with that. Instead, we may try to regulate what and how we feel by drinking alcohol, taking drugs, controlling food intake, overeating, reducing contact with others, and behaving aggressively. It is quite normal that old ways of coping return or become more prominent in these times because we are struggling to make sense of it all while we are trying to survive, emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically.
Here are resources and tools for you and others who are having a hard time and can benefit from some extra support. Please pass them along.
- Emergency services
- 911 for any emergency cases
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 and “MY3” app
- Teen Line: call 310-855-4673 or text TEEN to 839863
- Report child abuse and neglect: 800-540-4000 (DCFS)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- Adult Abuse Hotline: 800-222-8000 (adults 60+ and adults with disabilities)
- Telehealth/online support
- Finding a therapist: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us?tr=Hdr_Brand, https://www.therapyden.com/, https://www.goodtherapy.org/
- SAMHSA: 800-662-4357
- AA: http://aa-intergroup.org/
- Al-Anon: https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
- Alateen: https://al-anon.org/newcomers/teen-corner-alateen/try-an-alateen-chat-meeting/
- Facebook groups like: Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, Alanon-Alateen, Recovery world, End Prescription Drug abuse & Addiction, PAIN PILL’S the Addiction, Heroin Addiction Awareness, I Hate Heroin, Heroin Addicts Support, Addiction: why they use, Jazzmin’s Journey: Directed By God
- Support with eating: ANAD https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/online-resources/otheronlinesupportgroups/ or NEDA helpline 800-931-2237
- Parents: http://parentsanonymous.org/programs/parents-anonymous-groups/adult-group/ or Helpline: 855-427-2736
- Apps and practices when struggling with anxiety, worry, ruminating, sleeping:
- Insight Timer
- Ten Percent (https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide?utm_campaign=cv_response_website_banner&utm_medium=website&utm_source=cv_response/)
- RAIN practice: https://www.mindful.org/tara-brach-rain-mindfulness-practice/
Written by Beatrice Schreiber, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Supervised by Dr. Katja Pohl, PSY25919