Kodiak therapists offer guidance during the pandemic: “Lower expectations a little bit”

In this new age of limited social interactions, there’s a lot to get used to. There are new guidelines to follow, changes to business and class schedules, and hurdles to once-routine tasks like picking up groceries or getting a haircut. Kodiak’s mental health community says, it’s normal to feel like it’s difficult to function right now.

“I think people need to remember that these are stressful times and kind of give ourselves a break, you know, to lower expectations a little bit,” said Heidi Barrett, a counselor at Kodiak Community Health Center.

“We’re all dealing with so many changes and and things are so different. And this isn’t a time to really be beating ourselves up because we’re not doing enough or down on ourselves because we’re not doing things as as well as we think we should.”

 

Barrett says parents in particular might be struggling right now with homeschooling and round-the-clock care for their kids. And she says pandemic is also likely to hit hard for people with past trauma in their lives.

She says feeling emotional, overwhelmed, or angry is normal right now, and it might be a sign to get some extra support.

She encourages people to seek behavioral health support from KCHC or any of the other clinics in town. Therapy doesn’t have to be a big undertaking, she says.

“People sometimes just need some very focused problem solving skills, some skills to help them relax, and even just kind of common sense information.”

Barrett says treatment is never one-size-fits-all, but there are some things she suggests for everyone, like getting outside more, reducing social media use and not focusing too heavily on the news.

She also recommends that families cooped up together build in some alone time for each person, to make constantly being around one another a bit easier.

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