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New “Normal” Counseling

Things Are Returning to “Normal”: Why am I struggling?

January 29, 2022

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For over a year now, we have all had to adjust to pandemic life. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.  For most of us, it has changed almost every aspect of life, including our work/school, daily routines and relationships. We have had to learn to adapt to new ways of coping and communicating with one another. This greatly affects our sense of safety and stability. Rates of depression and anxiety have been at an all-time high.

As COVID-19 cases decline and restrictions loosen, we begin the process of re-connecting with friends and loved ones. You may be making plans to or have already returned to work or school. Social and entertainment venues are beginning to open, making it once again possible to enjoy all that Massachusetts has to offer.

And so, you’re asking yourself…Why am I struggling?

Some of the things you may be noticing:

  • Increased anxiety in social situations
  • Excessive worry about the past/future
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or nightmares
  • Decreased motivation
  • Feeling a sense of isolation from others
  • Increased irritability
  • Feeling distracted
  • Avoiding activities/situations/people
  • Heightened sensitivity

You may wonder why these things are occurring, which may make you feel even more isolated from others. It is important to understand that these experiences are REAL responses to stress. YOU ARE NOT ALONE in experiencing them.

What Can I Do?

  1. Practice Self-Compassion. Ask yourself how you would respond if a loved one or a friend was struggling? How would you speak to them? What words would you use to show that you care?
  2. Stay Present: If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.
  3. Remember that the “new normal” is not so normal. Transitions are hard, even when they are positive. Be patient with yourself through the process.
  4. Ask for Help. Talk to someone. Sharing your struggle with others can be a powerful step towards healing. Seek a therapist or counselor for more guidance and further coping strategies to help you cope and heal.

HBH is here to help! Therapists and counselors are available to provide you with the care and coping strategies you need to find health and balance in these difficult times. In-person and telehealth sessions are available now with compassionate and highly skilled clinicians. Get the support you deserve with the privacy and flexibility that you need. Book and appointment online or call (413) 343-4357 to schedule an appointment.

About The Author

Sara Swartz Weinberg, LCMHC Headshot

Sara is a licensed mental health counselor with over 20 years experience in community and hospital-based therapeutic settings. She offers a holistic and compassionate approach to therapy that focuses on helping people live richer, more meaningful and joyful lives. She helps her clients explore the challenges that keep them feeling stuck while working at their own pace. Sara believes that the wisdom of change is in the doing and can provide practical strategies to improve overall health.