Can Therapy Help Quarantine Fatigue?
Why Is Therapy Important During Covid?
Therapy is a great place to express feelings about the challenges we experience daily. For some, it's an essential part of maintaining overall good health. Since the rise of COVID-19, many feel that seeing a therapist has never been more necessary for good mental health, especially for coping with feelings of "quarantine fatigue" and isolation.
When You Can’t See Your Therapist During Quarantine
With quarantine protocols, seeing a therapist in person isn't possible for most. As a result, many therapists have temporarily converted their practice to include therapy via phone and video chat. Telehealth sessions allow in-person therapists to continue working with clients without interruptions and assist with any heightened feelings of anxiety and fear they may have due to the Coronavirus.
Also, telehealth appointments offer protection for therapists regarding their physical safety and the safety of their loved ones. Virtual visits also protect the safety and health of their clients. Of course, every person's situation is unique, and some psychologists have been unable to convert their practice to accommodate telehealth sessions. In that case, patients may need to face the frustrating process of finding another therapist entirely.
Working From Home And Your Mental Health
For some, working from home was the norm before the pandemic arrived. However, many aren't accustomed to working from home and feel uncomfortable transitioning from working in a physical location. Regardless of one's past work situation, there can be many challenges to working from home. Some include managing a schedule independently without structure, handling distractions associated with the household, the isolation of working alone, and more. For some, these difficulties can create what's known as "quarantine fatigue."
For some, working from home was the norm before the pandemic arrived. However, many aren't accustomed to working from home and feel uncomfortable transitioning from working in a physical location.
Regardless of one's past work situation, there can be many challenges to working from home. Some include managing a schedule independently without structure, handling distractions associated with the household, the isolation of working alone, and more. For some, these difficulties can create what's known as "quarantine fatigue".
How To Manage Feelings Of Quarantine Fatigue And Working From Home
There are many ways to cope with quarantine fatigue, including seeing a therapist online to take care of your mental health. Stress associated with isolation from quarantine often manifests itself differently from person to person.
For some, the immediate psychological discomfort is their fear of becoming physically sick. For others, coping with feelings of isolation and loneliness may be their primary stressor. But for many, these stressors are compounded by the difficulties of transitioning from working on-site to working from home.
Eight Tips For Working From Home
There are tangible ways that you can set yourself up for success if you are unaccustomed to working from home. The following are only suggestions that may make the transition from in-person work to working from home a little easier.
Consulting your therapist is recommended as you attempt to integrate these strategies into your day. They may have advice about coping with difficulties you may experience navigating this new routine. They may also provide insight into how to apply those coping strategies in other areas of your life.
- Get dressed as if you're going to an in-person job.
Preparing for the day as you normally would can provide a sense of normalcy and better control over your schedule. Even when working without seeing others, many find it beneficial to get up, shower, and get dressed just as usual. Starting the day your usual way may also help you more easily transition to a work-centric frame of mind without the process of a commute.
- Set aside time for lunch and work breaks.
As with your morning routine, sticking as closely as possible to your lunchtime routine may boost feelings of control over your schedule. To better establish a working-from-home lunchtime routine, try not to eat at your desk in front of the computer. Even if that's where you usually would have lunch at work, scheduling time away from your desk while working from home may help increase focus throughout the day. If you were in the habit of taking small breaks at work for things like going outside for some fresh air or getting a cup of tea, it might be a good idea to schedule those into your workday at home, too.
- Adhere To Your Normal Work Hours
Even if you don't usually maintain set work hours, creating a set schedule may help manage some of the stress associated with working from home. If possible, establish your routine around a healthy sleep schedule and give yourself plenty of time for lunch. If you tend to take short breaks at work throughout the day, schedule time for them at home, too.
- Work In A Designated Space With Limited Distractions.
Like keeping a regular morning and workday routine, establishing a designated work area may help you better focus. Try to work regularly at your desk, a table, or anywhere else where you'll be as uninterrupted as possible for the duration of your workday.
- If Necessary, Set Boundaries With Others In Your Household.
The new reality of working from home may require cooperation between everyone in the house to minimize distractions and maximize focus. This may be especially true if you have children engaged in virtual learning and other adults working from home in your household. Try to communicate with each other about scheduling your day so everyone can work together considerately with as little distraction as possible. If you are unsure of how to approach the communication, speaking to your therapist may be helpful to establish the best ways to talk with those you must work from home with.
As mentioned above, these tips are only suggestions for working from home more successfully. There are no guarantees that they'll completely alleviate any feelings of discomfort you may have. Seeking help from a therapist is one of the best ways to understand and develop coping strategies for difficulties associated with quarantine fatigue and working from home.
Connecting With Others Throughout Quarantine
Regardless of your working status, maintaining a connection with friends and family during quarantine can help with feelings of isolation and loneliness. For some, that means connecting via phone and video chat. For others, it means driving by to say hello from the car. If you are friendly with your neighbors, it may be helpful to regularly schedule some time to talk from a safe distance, too. Whatever your options, keeping in contact with those closest to you may be one of the best ways to ease the emotional discomfort associated with social distancing and quarantining.
Connection Through Telehealth And Online Therapy
If you regularly visit a psychologist, the changes in protocol due to COVID-19 may have restricted or eliminated your usual face-to-face meetings, potentially causing further feelings of loneliness. Since the pandemic's beginning, online therapy has provided many people with the support they need to maintain good mental health without needing to visit a psychologist in person. It's also an excellent way for those who may feel isolated to gain a sense of connectedness with the outside world.
Other Benefits Of Online Therapy With BetterHelp
A recent publication from the APA states that "Telepsychology holds promise as a treatment delivery method that may increase access to services as well as reduce barriers to treatment accessibility."
Access to treatment is an important consideration now, but also after the pandemic when things begin to shift back to "normal." Regardless of public health regulations, barriers to treatment may exist for those who may feel reluctant to engage with others in person due to difficulties associated with feelings of anxiety or depression. Availability of timing is another benefit to using an online therapist you may not have with an in-person psychologist. BetterHelp provides access to professional help any time- all you need to do is reach out, and your therapist will respond as soon as possible. Online therapy is also an excellent solution for those who must travel for work during quarantine, such as travel doctors and nurses. If this is a concern for your specific situation, BetterHelp's licensed therapists are available to meet anywhere with internet access.
Finally, having the ability to vet therapists and choose according to your specific needs is essential. BetterHelp's partners are licensed and accredited mental health professionals from various fields of study, giving you plenty of options for choosing the right therapist for you.
Help Is Available
Research is still uncovering the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on public mental health. However, according to many of the most current findings, the demand is high for online psychologists to help patients cope with difficulties resulting from COVID isolation and quarantine fatigue.
Regardless of the reasons or the source, if you are feeling overwhelmed and experiencing emotional discomfort, speaking to an online therapist may help. The right therapist may be able to provide the insight and guidance that you need to stay mentally healthier while quarantining safely at home.