How Counseling Can Benefit Your Mental Health During Lockdown
By Elizabeth Haley
Lockdown has been a necessary measure implemented globally to try and curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Although this is a crucial dynamic that needs to be observed, it has come with many factors that have compromised people’s well-being. Some have lost businesses as a result, while many have experienced loneliness and cabin fever. Counseling is one of the coping mechanisms that can help navigate the hardships that come with the lockdown.
Here is a list of how Counseling can benefit your mental health during lockdown:
1. You Get to Talk
Lockdown meant complete isolation for some. Those who live alone haven’t been able to socialise or interact with others beyond digital gadgets. However, one of the disadvantages that come with isolation is that you may bottle up your worries, concerns, and struggles because of the lack of social connections. Counseling is a space where you get to share your struggles which, in turn, helps to lighten the burden that you may be carrying on your shoulders.
You might be living with family during the lockdown and not completely alone, but that also comes with its fair share of challenges. You may also not be able to bring up the concerns regarding the family dynamics that may have emerged as a result of having to be in the same space for prolonged periods. Regardless of your living situation, you may need counseling as a route to offload your emotional and mental burden.
2. No Judgment Zone
The dynamics of COVID-19 have come with a plethora of opinions and advice regarding how to make the most out of the lockdown period. You may have come across seemingly well-intentioned social media statements such as, ‘If you don’t form a business, work on yourself, or find ways to make more money; you didn’t lack time you lacked discipline’. Such social media trends can make one, who is struggling, feel condemned and judged.
During this pandemic, some have lost loved ones, have had businesses crumbled, been furloughed, and have had their routines disrupted. Such situations seem to be overlooked when such social media motivations circulate and assume that everyone is in a comfortable mental and emotional head-space.
counseling is a judgment-free zone. You can be the most authentic version of yourself without having to worry about any perception being based on societal expectations. This helps you appreciate the current state that you are in and design the best possible way forward together with the practical steps you will need to take.
3. You Get Various Perceptions on Life Dynamics
The goal of counseling is to help you look at various angles of a problem in the hope that you can navigate various solutions. For example, if you have recently lost your job as a result of COVID-19, counseling can help you accept the external situations that we sometimes can’t control no matter how hard we try. In that scenario, you would have learned the art of acceptance which is needed for a clear vision forward. Having accepted the current state helps you move beyond denial and shock, meaning you can look at various angles of the problem and provide solutions. For example, through talking about your employment situation in counseling, you may then travel down the road of exploring options that have to do with using different skills to make money online.
4. An Event to Look Forward To
Once counseling becomes a regular feature during lockdown, it may become an event that you can look forward to. Lockdown may have eliminated many of events, activities and plans that you were looking forward to. This may lead to despair and hopelessness, as well as a general pessimistic approach to the future. The positive interactions that you may experience may make these sessions that you may look forward to.
5. Shadow Work
Counseling may come with work that you need to do for your mental and emotional wellness which is known as shadow work. You may explore topics such as depression, and possible paths that may have led to depression outside of the pandemic and its effects. Shadow work brings to the surface the issues and struggles that you may face in your life which may have been affecting you before the pandemic. This means counseling during lockdown positively impacts your wellness in general regarding pre- and post-pandemic dynamics.
6. Life-long Lessons
You may learn a plethora of lessons from your counseling sessions. Topics, themes and dynamics that you may have not been aware of before, may turn into teachable moments. These moments build skill, mental strength and character which positively build one. You may find that after the lockdown is over and the pandemic is now a topic discussed in hindsight, you may still apply the life-skills that you got out of counseling.
A counselor’s job is not to tell you how to live and order your everyday routine. A Counselor is there to point out what you may have not noticed, help you discover the options you can explore in your wellness strategy, and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Encouragement helps individuals to hold on through the dark storms in the hope of a brighter season. The isolation that has come with lockdown, has made it such that you may feel discouraged and don’t have access to those who remind you of your value. Constant feelings of discouragement can lead to mental and emotional challenges. Counseling is that support system that you need to appreciate the fact that you can make it through.
Counseling during the lockdown can benefit your mental health in that you get to talk and share your struggles, it’s a judgment-free zone, you get to see a problem from different angles, it’s an event to look forward to during lockdown, you get to do some shadow work, learn life-long lessons and receive the encouragement that is needed for your mental health. Make sure to consult recommended counseling services so that you receive quality services and care for your mental wellness.
Elizabeth Haley has been working as a blogger for more than ten years. Elizabeth regularly publishes articles about business and health on her blog, and submits pieces on other websites, as well.