How to talk about coronavirus with your kids

Asking your kids before you bombard them with information is key. Photo: Getty Images

How To Keep Mentally Healthy When You’re Working From Home

As cases of COVID-19 rise, so to is the number of people being urged to self isolate or work from home. While it’s wholly necessary to stop the spread of this pandemic, working from home for a long period of time can take its toll on your mental health and sanity.

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The news has been overwhelming, and constant. Every day, we’ve been bombarded with new information about COVID-19. We’re having to make new decisions for the health and safety of our loved ones. And, we’re hearing about the effects its having on our jobs and economy.

How will any of us stay sane?

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Do I really need help?

When behaviours, feelings, thoughts, perceptions seem irrational we have trouble understanding why we feel so afraid, angry, obsessed with little things. We become so angry with ourselves that we believe that we are worthless, hated, unlovable.

Sometimes we become “stuck” or feel “lost”.

Being “stuck” or “lost” are common ingredients in many psychological conditions, such as:

Irrational thoughts, feelings and behaviours are driven by states of confusion as if you have lost track of what life is all about. You may know you are unhappy but it is as if you can’t help being that way or that you were born that way and have always been that way. You feel that you can’t change.


Counselling and therapy can help

Counselling and therapy are often confused. Counselling involves speaking to someone about your worries and concerns. Counselling offers relief from your emotions through conversation.

For some people, counselling is enough, but many become dissatisfied with counselling because they are looking for not just awareness, but also change. This is where therapy can help. Therapy is the process of taking steps to address those emotions and their cause in a safe and constructive way.

Many become dissatisfied with counselling because they are looking for not just awareness, but also change.

Therapy and counselling are intimately linked. It is impossible to extract yourself from self-destructive patterns of feeling or behaviour, unless you are able to recognize them as soon as they occur. But once you do start to recognize the motivations, feelings, or agendas that draws you into these repeated patterns, you need practical advice on how to interrupt and replace those patterns. Lorraine can help you through this process of self-awareness and self-repair.


Should I talk to a counsellor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist?

Like any counsellor, a counselling psychologist can help you talk through your problems, but they also have an understanding of the best therapies available. While only a psychiatrist can prescribe psychoactive drugs, a psychologist has a range of effective non-pharmacological strategies, and if consulted early, can avoid the need for psychiatric intervention.

The most important thing is to form a good relationship with your therapist.

No therapist will be right all the time and your expectations for change may be unrealistic or misguided. Your therapist should help you understand what is probably going on and give you guidance as to how to change.

Remember: You have to take an active role in any therapy, otherwise it will have no impact on your behaviour or feelings and life will remain the same. There are no silver bullets, but there is support, if you choose to accept it.


What should I expect?

You do not have to talk about your past or blame anyone else for your circumstances.

Finding out what happens in the first session is very important to allay your fears if you have never been to a therapist. You do not have to talk about your past or blame anyone else for your circumstances. What you want most from your sessions is the experience of insight and a change in your feelings so that your life is improved and freed from guilt, anger and sorrow.

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