Updated: May 15, 2020
What We Can Control About COVID-19 | By Lauren Ray, LPCA
As I’m writing to you, humanity is in uncharted waters.
For the first time ever, the entire state of Kentucky — and much of the world — has been asked to stay in our homes and self-isolate. We’ve been asked to engage in social distancing in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Self-isolation may bring up old pains & triggers for your mental health
For some of us, self-isolation comes an unprecedented amount of free time. And, unfortunately, many of us are now facing our deepest struggles. We're finally acknowledging some issues and concerns that we’ve placed on the back burner. These are way easier to ignore during the usual hectic pace of our lives. Many of us have unhealed wounds that are resurfacing. I’d bet that almost all of us are facing heightened anxiety and fear. Some of us may even feel the cold fingers of panic in the face of the reality that this disease has brought to our world.
There’s no doubt that everything occurring in the world right now is scary. And I mean, really scary! Therefore, it makes sense that you're having more anxious thoughts. But, as a therapist and someone who’s done a fair share of my own healing, I have a bit of a different perspective on “social distancing.”
Social distancing doesn't have to be lonely or lead to depression
These Spring 2020 stay-at-home orders don’t have to be lonely. Social distance doesn’t have to mean several weeks of uncontrollable worrying about the economy. Stressing about your child’s educational future. Or, anxiety about any of the five hundred other things that are legitimate and serious concerns during this time. Depression is not inevitable.
In fact, I believe with all of my heart that this time of increased isolation can be the perfect setting for your healing process to begin. This can be a time for you to learn how to cope with stress and to feel better than you ever have. You can find a way to use this time to your advantage.
How often have we said to ourselves, “When things slow down I’ll ________,” or “I wish I had more downtime so I could focus on _______.”
I’m telling you, NOW is that time.
The coronavirus outbreak can be a time of personal growth and emotional healing
Since we can’t control so many of the things happening around us right now, what if we focused on what we can control? What if we focused on our healing?
Our personal growth and healing are always within our control.
At this point, you may be wondering Is this really the time to be thinking about personal growth? That’s understandable. It’s easy to shut down when fear is looming on the horizon. We only want to think about the things we need to survive, to get through it, to make it. Just until things are "normal" again.
But, what if I told you that focusing on your personal growth would be exactly the thing that you needed to survive? The way to get through. The key to help you get back to normal faster.
Change your focus to improve your mental health
What you are focusing on matters. What you focus on grows. If you are focusing on how bad everything is, how scary, how uncertain, you will find your anxiety growing. Yet, in the midst of the fear, worry, and depression that social distancing has caused, you still have a choice. You CAN choose to focus on becoming the person that you have always wanted to be. By doing this, you will find that goal getting larger in your mind. You might even find that instead of just surviving COVID-19, you thrived. You tried something you were scared to do. Achieved something you didn’t think was possible. And, you became a better version of yourself through the unthinkable.
It’s possible for YOU.
With that being said, let’s talk about online counseling in Kentucky.
Telehealth, Video Therapy or Online Counseling: A tool for healing during COVID 19
In this season, one unique opportunity that individuals can utilize for their healing and growth is online counseling (or “telehealth”). Individuals who choose to sign up for online counseling will log onto a secure, HIPAA-compliant website. Your therapist will be waiting to meet and help you work through the areas you are struggling with most. It’s that simple.
As a therapist who uses telehealth frequently with my clients (and as someone who has participated in online counseling myself), I love it! I’m a huge advocate for it.
Benefits of Online Counseling Services in Kentucky
Even when we’re not facing a crisis, online counseling is a great option for people wanting to improve their mental health. I don’t have to tell you that life is busy. It’s hectic, and sometimes things get crazy and overwhelming. There is nothing better than grabbing a hot cup of coffee, wrapping up in a blanket, and talking to your therapist from the comfort of your own home. You can even stay in your pajamas on your couch if you want! This isn't the time to be formal. It's time to be real.
In our current reality, telehealth counseling offers healing without leaving your home. Mental health support without putting yourself or others at risk of getting sick. Online therapy also offers the comfort of talking face-to-face (via video) with someone you can trust. This is so important when you might not otherwise be able to make that connection.
It's surprisingly comfortable to do therapy online! For many people, barriers are broken down and awkwardness removed when they meet with a therapist from the privacy of their home. Video therapy is also convenient. I know for myself and my clients, online counseling is more relaxing than in the traditional therapist office setting. There are no concerns about seeing someone you know or having to explain to someone why you’re seeing a therapist. You simply log in and start the conversation.
Will Telehealth in Kentucky replace face-to-face counseling?
Of course, there is absolutely something to be said for face-to-face counseling! There are some modes of therapy that can only be delivered in an in-person setting.
However, right now, we don’t have the option to meet face-to-face in person. What many of us do have is extra. We have extra time. We have extra space. And right now many of us are dealing with extra anxiety, extra stress, and extra hurts.
Maybe online counseling isn’t something you’ve considered before. Maybe you never thought that you could be this anxious about what’s happening on the news. I know I never imagined myself or my family living through something like COVID-19. But it is happening. And we have to do the hard work of coping with it — not only getting through it but growing through it.
It's ok to ask for help from a therapist when things are really stressful
Since this is a new experience for all of us, please know that it is totally normal to ask for extra help to learn how to cope with the situation. There is no shame in reaching out to ask for tools to maintain your peace of mind. In fact, the bravest among us are the ones who know what they need and ask for it.
As someone who has utilized telehealth services in the past, I know firsthand what a difference it can make in life. I understand that taking the first step can be hard, but that it will be worth it in the end.
You can start telehealth services or online counseling from anywhere in Kentucky right now!
I encourage you to take advantage of this time and do the work to make yourself feel better and more in control. Now, more than ever, healing, growth, self-care, and support are all essentials. We cannot put them off. They make all the difference in the quality of our lives.
When you’re ready to take the first step, we’ll be here for you. We care.
I CARE. - LAUREN RAY, LPCA
Start Online Therapy in Kentucky with Mindsight:
Getting started with online mental health support in Kentucky couldn't be easier. At Mindsight, we can get you talking with an online therapist in just a few simple steps:
2. Talk with "Bubbly Britany" to determine the best team member to help support you
3. Begin your healing and health journey from the comfort of your home
Next Steps & Resources
What is Mindsight Behavioral Group all about? Mindsight has locations throughout Kentucky and they are dedicated to making sure their clients are cared for.
What counselors do you recommend for online counseling? We have several, but here's one online therapist who is moving to offer Telehealth exclusively, even when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic!
What if I own a mental health group practice and need extra support and resources during this time? We have just the thing! Kasey Compton, CEO of Mindsight Behavioral Group, is incredibly passionate about helping other practices succeed! Check out KC Consulting!