Emotions During COVID-19

Are you wondering what to say or how to respond to others during this stressful time? Sheltering in place for this extended amount of time can create some uncomfortable interactions for both those inside and outside of the home.

Today’s Facebook Live included Dr. Jill Harrington who discussed techniques to decrease stress and moderate responses to difficult situations and conversations during COVID-19.

Increased Stress

Everyone has experienced more stress during COVID-19. If you are a parent, you are worried about ensuring the kids are entertained, healthy, and busy with their online school work all while you are trying to navigate full-time work from home. Those living alone are feeling lonely and missing their families. And, families with essential workers are concerned for their health and welfare. Also, those no longer working are worried about bills piling up.

With this increased stress and anxiety, emotions are running on high. We are still going to get on each other’s nerves in such close quarters and by spending this much time together.

Coping Mechanisms

Many things can help you navigate this new environment, including a routine, social connections, and activities that keep you busy with it involves work or hobbies. All of the technology we now have means we can do all of these things more easily than previous generations might have done.

We are all going to have good and bad days. It is alright to let ourselves experience some anxiety. We also need to remind ourselves that we are doing okay at parenting, working, and sheltering in place. Giving ourselves the space to see what we can do can be a good way to remind ourselves that we do have some control during this time even though it may not always feel like it.

Using a Cognitive Approach

There are other ways to get to the heart of our feelings. The cognitive approach looks at how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected. When we think negatively, it can create negative feelings and behaviors. We have the power to change our thoughts toward the positive through writing our thoughts down, sharing our thoughts with others, or just being more conscious about what we are thinking.

For example, if were are afraid we are going to get COVID-19, we can change our thoughts to think about what we are doing that minimizes that risk. We can tell ourselves we are sheltering in place and no one around us has it. It’s also important to keep the media from impacting our thought process by having us focus on the horrible scenes and constantly updated COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Reach Out For Support

There are many ways to get support from both professional therapists online as well as virtual support groups and videos. Also, it helps to have a support group of good listeners who can help you manage some of the stresses that we noted. For example, talk with other parents about the online education process and share tips on what works or just commiserate.

Watch Now

Watch the video here:




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Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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