Online Therapy and Counseling in Chesterfield, VA—Online Therapists
All of us are currently navigating a time of great uncertainty, an abundance of information, and life changes. The occurrence of COVID-19, or coronavirus as it’s often called, has resulted in many changes in daily life, routine, education, and employment. Now, many parents are faced with a sudden need to manage their own changing schedules as well as those of their children.
How to Care for Yourself During This Time
Whenever you’re experiencing a stressful change in routine, it’s helpful to have some go-to coping skills that you can use to prioritize your mental health.
Think about the things you do to relax or have fun. Those are always a good place to start. Some coping strategy ideas are:
- Engaging your mind: Read a book, journal, watch a show you enjoy, pray or meditate
- Engaging your body: Take a walk, exercise, clean, garden
- Engaging your senses: Listen to music, cook/bake, take a bath
- Connecting with others: Talk with a family member or friend, set up a virtual call to chat face to face, play a game with others online or within your household
It’s also incredibly important during stressful times to make sure you’re taking care of your physical health as well as your mental health. This means getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating healthy foods, and trying to move your body in whatever way you can. This is important for you and your family! If you aren’t taking care of your basic needs, stress intensifies. If you’re finding that you’re still struggling to maintain your mental health, we want to help you manage your symptoms.
How to Talk About COVID-19 with Your Child
Just like you may be experiencing symptoms of stress, depression, fear, and anxiety – your child may be experiencing those symptoms as well. Use age-appropriate language to explain to your child what is going on. Be sure to talk about what you and your family are doing to stay healthy and safe. Allow for your child to express their feelings, and validate that those feelings are normal and okay. As a fun activity to also help with coping, create a coping “toolbox” with your child. Work with them to think about things that make them feel happy or have fun. You can create a physical box to put games and toys in or create a list for your child to reference when they may feel stressed or anxious. These practices will help create a feeling of safety for your child while also promoting their mental health.
How To Manage Sudden Routine Changes
Due to the recent closure of school buildings, many parents are now faced with the task of helping their child continue their education, stay active and engaged, and fill their time at home in a meaningful way. So how does this look when parents may also be working from home?
Online Counselors with Thriveworks Chesterfield recommend practicing self-compassion. This is an unprecedented situation for which there is no how-to book. Check in with your expectations for yourself. You don’t have to have this all figured out on day one. Start with small manageable steps to help find routine.
- Find out which routines you can keep the same. This is a great way to help you and your child adjust to this new sense of normalcy. Keep morning and bedtime routines the same. Try to create or maintain routines around mealtimes.
- Set aside structured and scheduled time for children to work on schoolwork.
- If your child is able to work entirely or mostly independently, the age-old adage of “sleep when the baby sleeps” applies here as well! If you’re tasked with working from home, create a work time together. This will help encourage your child to do their schoolwork while you also are able to work. If you’re not working, this is a good time to practice some self-care and coping for yourself.
- Allow for some downtime and socializing for your child – just like you need this, so do they! Maybe this means taking a nap, reading a book, etc. If able, use technology to help them connect and see their friends. Platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime, and others allow for video calls.
- Try to incorporate some physical activity into the day with your child. Physical activity is connected to their mental health as well. Jogging in place, jumping jacks, or taking a walk (minding physical distancing) are helpful ways to stay active. Put on some fun music and make it a dance party!
- Find ways to meaningfully connect as a household. Eat meals together, have movie nights, play games together. This connection will help to prevent feelings of social isolation for you and your child.
Is Online Counseling Right For Me?
If you’re having difficulty coping with your stress, anxiety, and fear right now, Thriveworks Chesterfield clinicians are available to provide support and therapy services. Some signs and symptoms to notice: Difficulty sleeping or too much sleep, appetite changes, increased crying, lack of motivation, increased irritability, racing thoughts, disinterest in activities you normally enjoy, and isolating yourself from other members of your family. If you have been experiencing some of these symptoms, or others that are concerning to you, it may be a good time to reach out for help.
Therapy services are currently being offered via telehealth or online counseling. This means that you could videoconference or even have a therapy session over the phone from the comfort of your own home. Most insurance companies are covering telehealth or online therapy services for the immediate future to allow for more people to access therapy services.
The actual appointment would occur similarly to an in-person appointment. Your therapist would orient you to the therapy process and work to create a comfortable and safe environment for you to talk about your stressors and concerns. Therapy can help you process through your current overwhelming feelings and emotional experiences and help you to find new ways to cope with them.
Telehealth or online counseling can sound strange and uncomfortable if you’ve never done it before. That’s okay! Your Thriveworks Chesterfield online counselor can help you get it set up on your computer or phone. All that’s required is a device with a camera and access to the internet – this can be a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Not sure how to find some privacy? Schedule therapy during child nap times or find a quiet room in your house and shut the door. You can play music outside the door to help with sound privacy, if needed. If you have a spouse, partner, older family member, or friend in your home, ask them for help with childcare for an hour.
Thriveworks Chesterfield online counseling mental health professionals are offering early morning, evening, and weekend appointments—as well as appointments during the day—to help work around your new schedule. Many people who call have an appointment scheduled within 24 hours.
To make an appointment with a Thriveworks Chesterfield therapist for online counseling call (804) 419-4122 today.