Dealing with stress during COVID-19
...from our counselors' desks
Yesterday everything was fine. Going to work, kids in school, ranting about politics, trying to pay bills and bringing home stories from our daily activities. Today our whole world feels different. It is. It is uncomfortable, unfamiliar and fearful.
The balloon inside us where we cram our feelings is expanding further and further. We feel trapped in the home. Our spouse’s habits become more annoying; we don’t have the teachers, daycare workers and sitters to relieve the moods and constant needs of children. Our jobs are gone or going. And the bills remain the same. Our neighbors are buying up the toilet paper and the only kind left feels like sandpaper. We worry about our old folks getting sick. We worry about us getting sick.
We feel powerless and anxious. We want certainty but there is none. The balloon stretches to the breaking point, so we try to be more in control. Many seek relief and look to quick solutions: alcohol, drugs, hurtful words and actions, anger and possibly violent outbursts. But the relief is short lived, and the balloon remains full. Others quietly suffer and feel constantly ill at ease. What do we do? We do more of the same, only louder. We know how this can end – addiction, domestic violence, child abuse, separation and divorce.
So, let’s try something different. Suppose we don’t control it but, rather, manage the pressure in that balloon. We do that by taking the small opening and letting the air out gently, bit by bit. If we let it out all at once the balloon shoots across the room, wildly out of control. We do this by the basic human skill of communicating. Yes, talking. Talking to our friends and family and avoiding talking AT them. We manage our stress by knowing that it is true and real. We manage what we can as soon as we feel it. We avoid things that make it worse; we eat less of the foods that spike our mood (sugar, caffeine, etc.), we try to burn off some steam and frustration by walking (make the body tired) or other activities. We remember the most important lesson of childhood, “just because your sister broke your favorite toy you can’t hit her in the head with a baseball bat”. In other words, just because we feel badly or are afraid, we must still be responsible for our actions. We choose our behaviors.
If this is difficult or unfamiliar, do what we know to do. If we are sick, we see a doctor; if our transmission fails, we bring our car to a mechanic. We recognize when we need help and we seek it.
That’s what we do. Foothills Counseling is a friend and neighbor. We’ve been here for almost 30 years. We are a non-profit and charge on a sliding scale. We make it affordable. That’s what we do. Just pick up the phone or send an email.
Are you experiencing:
Thoughts or anxiety about making a
"big change" in your life
A sense that something is wrong
Physical signs of emotional stress
New or worrisome feelings
from a life change
Thoughts of harming yourself
Family, marriage, or relationship troubles
Foothills Counseling Center
provides affordable, confidential, professional counseling services for:
Individuals, couples, and families
Adolescents/teens (limited space for children)
Individual life skills counseling
Weekly grief support groups (no charge)
Everyone and anyone, regardless of income
(NO ONE is turned away.)
All of our counselors are
certified and licensed, with
each having more than 20 years experience in addiction, family, marriage, and adolescent counseling.
At Foothills Counseling Center, you will receive professional support so that you won't have to travel down life's path alone. You will find a safe, confidential and non-judgmental place to seek answers to the daily challenges you face. Your values, goals and faith will be respected and supported by our trusted, experienced counselors. Our mission at Foothills Counseling Center is to help residents of North Georgia develop a healthy environment, a clear mind and sound habits by providing high quality, professional counseling services regardless of income.
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Wilson St. & E. Green St.
PO Box 1900
Clarkesville, GA 30523