Rise of Online Counselling during Corona Virus
Increased social isolation, loneliness, health anxiety and financial and job pressures create the perfect mix for an increase in stress on relationships and mental health challenges for individuals.
Impact of COVID-19
Being forced to stay inside and spend an extended period of time with each other has been hard on most relationships. During a chronic threat, like the one posed by the corona virus, it is natural and instinctual human reaction to look for a safe and trusted person or persons with whom to share the stress. Families come together to support one another through these times. Social isolation has meant that families have been unable to do that.
The virus has also created uncertainty and robbed us of our ability to plan. Making plans to meet up with friends, nights out, holidays, weddings, celebrations, funerals or anything else has had to be put on hold.
And let’s not forget the anxiety created by the threat to our physical wellbeing and our mortality by the virus itself.
All this impacts our mental health. There is a short-term impact in coping with the uncertainty in the here and now, and a longer-term impact in how this will impact our personal, social and work lives in the future.
How we have adapted
People have adapted in different ways to this new situation. After getting over the initial shock of the scale of the pandemic and the isolation brought on by the social distancing, we now seem to be in a different place where the changes in the work environment have settled and we are getting used to the new circumstances.
Not all of this is bad news because the weather has held out and has been provided a much-needed lift for the general low mood. Many couples and families have parked their differences and conflicts for now and learned to get along to get past this crisis.
On the other hand the charity Refuge, reports a 25% rise in domestic abuse related phone calls. There is also a growing trend in people wanting to access information on how to cope with current circumstances and seeking help for their mental health needs.
TIP 1: The top tip I can give you is that this is not the time to reinvent any part of your life. This is the time to rearrange a few things to get you through the next few weeks. Wait until things settle down and see how you feel before you make any big changes in your life.
TIP 2: Keep a routine, get the exercise and optimise your creativity instead of binging on the TV watching. Try and keep a sense of normality in your life.
TIP 3: Limit the number of times you read the news.
And the final one – Don’t put off getting help. Online counselling offers a good alternative to face to face counselling and can help you access support as an individual or as a couple from the comfort of your own home.
The role of Online Counselling
A chronic threat to life (heart attack, disease diagnosis, accident, etc.), an extended period of down time (holiday), or extended period of time with someone else (Christmas period) creates a thought process in which you questions where life is going for you and what you want from it.
All these factors are in play at this time as we remain in a national lockdown under threat from Corona virus. Accessing counselling early gives you the opportunity to process thoughts as they come up and get clarity over what you want. Leaving it can often mean accumulation of unprocessed thoughts and build-up of anxiety and stress.
Online counselling can help you manage your anxieties, feelings of loneliness or other problems as an individual, and to help you build a stronger relationship as a couple. I offer Online counselling sessions using Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams. It offers a really good alternative to face to face counselling and offers the ability to connect from the comfort of your own home without compromising social distancing rules. When the lockdown lifts, we can move the online counselling session to face to face in London Waterloo or Hampton if you prefer and are able to attend face to face.