September 2021 Counseling Corner Newsletter
Issue 1: September 2021
We thought we were through with the pandemic. Now what?
What happened? We are back at school, and we thought this thing was over! We were hoping to get back to normal and now masks and social distancing are back. There are some scary numbers in the news, many people are frustrated, and many people are blaming and fighting with each other, rather than working together to overcome the serious risks and often tragic consequences.
Fixing the blame is not going to fix the problem! People are sick and dying, and this time around, with the Delta Variant, it is not just older persons and immunocompromised persons at risk. Younger adults and children seem to be vulnerable to this variant form of Covid-19. It seems that as much as we want this to be over, it is not.
It’s a natural human reaction to feel frustrated and fed up with a prolonged taxing situation. Many are lashing out in frustration, and actually making a bad situation worse. What can we do to lessen the stress and still try to enjoy our lives in this new reality?
Several skills will help us get through this. The first is to increase our acceptance of where we are, not where we want to be or think we should be. You can only start a journey from where you stand at the beginning. Focus on enjoying what you can do, not what you are missing out on.
Next, focus on re-connection and cooperation. Humans are social animals. Our strength has always been based on cooperation and connection.
It is time to work on re-connecting, caring for each other, working together to recover, heal and rebuild hope.
Self Care Tip
As busy and goal-oriented as we all seem to be, with academics, family issues, home, and work responsibilities, sometimes it seems that adequate sleep gets lost in the shuffle. As we miss sleep to accomplish other tasks, we gradually wear ourselves down and become less effective, both physically, cognitively, and emotionally. We also have less energy to devote to those essential daily activities. How much sleep is enough, and what are the effects of not getting enough sleep?
Recent science points out that sleep significantly impacts our mental, physical, and emotional health. Also, during sleep is when short-term memories are converted to long-term memories. Sounds like learning doesn’t it. Staying up too late to study might be self-defeating in the long run. Some people state that they only need 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night and have become accustomed to that, but when given cognitive tests, they don’t perform as well as persons who got the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep well!
This Month's Mental Health Q&A
Will my friends think I am a loser if I ask for help with my social anxiety?
Social anxiety is a common concern for young adults. We all have concerns about what others think of us. But, if you avoid being yourself, for fear that others will reject you, you might want to change that.
We all know that an athlete needs a good coach to improve his or her game. Why not get some help from a professional? If you let your fear of what others might think of you keep you from getting help, you are giving in to the same fears that are creating your social anxiety in the first place, keeping you stuck. By getting some support, you have a chance to learn some new moves, which could improve your game, giving you some relief from always fearing that others might reject you.
We all know that if you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results, so it is time to start doing something different. Why not make an appointment with a counselor, and begin learning the skills to let go of the fear that is holding you back from being comfortable with yourself and others.
(Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anita's Monthly Mental Health Tip
Change isn’t always about new or different. It is within your power to shift your thinking and alter your thoughts and behaviors. Trying to be optimistic doesn't mean ignoring the uglier side of things. It just means focusing on the positive as much as possible.
Roger's Monthly Mental Health Tip
Anxiety seems to be almost universal, with all we have been through in the last year and a half. Most of us need to update our toolboxes with new skills to reduce anxiety. There will be no silver bullet to make it disappear. However, if you can learn to use 4 or 5 new tools that reduce it, you can be triumphant.