Therapy during COVID-19 (part 2)

While we may need to stay six feet or farther away from each other physically right now, we also need to find ways to come closer together socially, emotionally, and spiritually. That starts with keeping your mind and heart healthy, so that you are available to connect with and help those around you. 

We all have traits, quirks, defenses, anxiety symptoms that get in the way of connecting. Maybe you experience self-conscious thoughts that prevent you from being fully present when someone is talking to you. Or fear of vulnerability that makes you shove your thoughts and feelings into a box. Each of these things is like a layer in between you and other people. The layers can build up to a thick, tall wall that makes you feel alone even in the presence (digital or face-to-face) of others. 

In stressful times, these defenses can get stronger and make it even harder to feel connected, even when connection is what we need most of all. 

Therapy right now can be a place to talk about how stressful the outside world is. But it can also be a place to look inward and identify what your layers are, and figure out how to peel them back. Use this time to explore your inner world, get to know your layers. Learn more about how to be present with yourself and available for contact with others. Practice giving yourself permission to enjoy what’s happening in this moment without worrying if you are “doing it right” (whatever “it” is). Learn to speak without a censor or filter editing every word. 

You can figure out how to get through this with your mental and emotional health not just intact but improved. Therapy can help with peeling back those layers and being your authentic self right now. And since you are stuck with yourself a lot now, you might as well learn how to enjoy your own company.