Going to a counselor helps people deal with huge amounts of stress and anxiety. It is a place where you can open up your worries and have a professional help you go through them. You can learn a lot from visiting your school counselor or your local therapist. Often, they provide you with tips on handling your emotions and stress management.
Sadly, our access to these services has been limited due to the ongoing pandemic. Ever since COVID-19 hit, multiple cities worldwide have been imposing strict community quarantines. This means a lot of establishments have closed down to prevent the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, this includes those who provide counseling services.
What Is Virtual Counseling?
Luckily, as the world shifted into the online scene, so did counseling. Virtual counseling has the benefits of a regular session with your counselor but in the safety and comforts of your own home. This can be done through text messages, video calls, mobile apps, and emails. Below are three methods of virtual counseling to help keep your mental health in check during quarantine.
- Online Consultations Through Calls And Video Chat
To minimize the transmission of COVID-19, most hospitals have started doing telehealth. The internet is no longer just for games and social media. The health care system has also been evolving together with technology through the years.
Telehealth enables patients to have medical consultations with doctors through the use of computers and mobile devices. It’s the same as going to the doctor’s office and having them interview you. The difference is you don’t have to leave your house to do it! This way, situations needing the physical presence of the patient can be given priority.
The same goes for counseling and psychotherapy services. Ask your counselor if they are available for an online session. If yes, you and your counselor can schedule an online video chat. During your session with your counselor, make sure that you are somewhere you feel comfortable opening up. Free your surroundings from distractions to maximize the time you spend with them.
- Mobile Apps For Emotional Checks
Another way of managing your stress levels in quarantine is using mobile apps designed to do so. For example, if you are experiencing rapid and sudden mood swings, you might find mood tracking apps handy. These apps enable you to record your mood at a specific time of the day. Are you extra irritable during lunch? Feeling anxious during bedtime? Write it down!
These apps work by letting you view how your mood changes throughout the day. You input the information you find worth noting at a specific time. This could be something like receiving a text message or eating a specific food. Upon seeing your high and low points of the day, you can relate the things you’ve recorded to a certain mood. Although not 100% accurate in predicting your mood, you can use this insight as a precaution.
However, professional counseling is still one of the most effective ways to handle mental illnesses. But, these apps can still be of help to you in other ways. For example, presenting your data to your counselor may give them a better view of your dealing with it. In return, they can provide you with the appropriate assistance. Keeping a journal can also be therapeutic and can help relieve stress and anxiety.
Some apps help you communicate with a counselor or a mental health expert. You can send a message to them when you have questions or whenever a situation comes up. This is perfect for you if you feel anxious about having a call with someone.
- Start Your Own Virtual Support Group
The comfort and companionship your friends give you are also important. Being surrounded by people you care about gives you a sense of security. Knowing you have someone who listens to you or can be a shoulder to cry on can lessen your worries. In addition, being in a support group gives you the social interaction needed to speed up recovery from mental health problems. It’s like having a group of friends, but with more focus on mental health support.
If you already have a support group, discuss with them if it is possible to shift to an online setting. If not, invite your friends! Being in a support group is good for everyone. Discuss with your peers what works, such as the platform to be used or the schedule of group sessions. Being isolated for a long time, seeing a friendly face can make a huge difference to your day.
At the end of the day, it is important to keep your mental health in check. While we wait for the pandemic to end, it is good to know there are alternatives you can partake in. Still, it is best to ask your counselor what methods are the perfect fit for you. With these tools at your disposal, you can ensure your mental well-being during this pandemic.