COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has had a major impact on mental health worldwide. During a global pandemic, it is natural to experience an increase in worry and overall distress. The most vulnerable among us including the elderly and immune compromised, as well as those of us on the front lines of this pandemic may be especially predisposed to mental health distress in this challenging time. 

For those of us living abroad, this pandemic may be especially stressful as we find ourselves separated from loved ones for an indeterminate length of time, prevented from traveling due to restrictions and quarantine requirements, and faced with navigating an unfamiliar health system  in another language.

Some symptoms that may arise related to COVID-19 include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • irritability
  • hyper-vigilance
  • changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • difficulty concentrating
  • relationship conflicts
  • increased reliance on numbing strategies such as overeating, bingeing TV or videogames, and substance use/abuse.
  • etc.

My message to you is that you are not alone. We are all in this together, and we can support one another to get through this. One way that I am able to do that is by providing affordable telementalhealth services direct to wherever you are. Together we can work on helping you shift to more adaptive coping and process your experiences in a safe and nonjudgmental space. I am aware that COVID-19 has impacted the economy in drastic ways, and that budgets may be tight. If you need mental health support and are not able to afford my fees, please let me know and we can make a plan together.

Regardless of whether you feel ready or able to engage in therapy services, there are many things you can do on your own to improve your mental health throughout this crisis:

  • Reduce news consumption to a reasonable limit (once to twice a day) – use screen-time apps to help remind you to take a break.
  • Maintain healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. Avoid using alcohol, drugs, and caffeine.
  • Form a routine: get dressed, schedule your day, eat meals on time
  • Continue to do enjoyable activities such as reading, art and crafts, or taking a walk.
  • Use technology to stay in touch with loved ones. Take advantage of social apps and programs to video chat, play games together, and share your feelings.
  • Collect information from accurate and reputable sources to stay informed and understand how to stay safe.
  • Make a COVID-19 safety plan with local phone numbers and resources; write it down so you don’t have to hold it in your head.

Please view the following links with more helpful resources for navigating this crisis: