With new Coronavirus restrictions in both Washington and Oregon, mental health becomes an even larger concern. During the next few weeks with new restrictions, it’s important to take care of yourself.
Judy Dirks is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Therapy Solutions.
"People are much more anxious and there’s a lot more anger-all the political stuff and everything around that. As well as the virus and trying to figure out what’s safe to do and not safe to do," said Dirks.
Adults aren't the only people that are affected by these changes, but children notice too.
Courtney Salazar is a Child and Teen Therapist in the Tri-Cities.
"I think its really important to be open with kids about what’s happening, and I think a part of that is opening their minds to the fact that we are living in a very ambiguous time, meaning that things are constantly changing and as adults, we don't even have all of the answers," said Salazar.
It’s useful to create a routine where you find activities that calm you down. Dirks recommends doing something creative, finding activities that promote peace, and encourages talking on the phone with friends and family.
"I do think that having some regular contact with somebody because loneliness is definitely a very painful experience and so finding somebody--a friend or a family member that they can have some regular contact with is very helpful" said Dirks.
For adults and especially for kids--focusing on what we do have control over is important.
"Things like we have control over what outfit we get to wear today, what snack we get to pick for your lunch, you get to pick one of these three things for dinner today. They’re adult-approved choices, but choices and control are so important right now when it seems like even as adults we don't have control over our environment on a day-to-day basis," said Salazar.
Ahead of the holiday season, It can be difficult to acknowledge that some gatherings for Thanksgiving or Christmas won’t be the same.
"People are probably feeling a bit sad and kind of concerned about the holidays because they usually do something special for Thanksgiving and Christmas and for sure--we don't know what’s going to happen with Christmas but for thanksgiving that it looks like it would be smart for people not to do big family events," said Dirks.
Courtney says kids can be extremely receptive to new traditions even if some old ones won’t happen this year.
Judy says you can always ask for help if you need it.
"If they find themselves really anxious, starting to have panic attacks, overly lonely, feeling depressed, and having any kind of suicidal thoughts. That it’s really important that if they don’t have somebody to contact that they do go find a professional" said Dirks.