Ways to deal with pandemic stress

Living in fear of contracting a dangerous virus and being kept within the same four walls of your household has caused a spike in mental health problems in the past year.

According to the Washington Post, an online therapy company called Talkspace reported a 65% increase in clients since mid-February of 2020.  

 Being surrounded by only family and friends for long periods can have bad effects on relationships. Other people’s ways of thinking and doing things start to get irritating in a way they didn’t before.

Something I have found that has worked is spending time outside and reflecting on the situation at hand. Meditating is helpful too.

There are several types of meditative practices. One easy way to meditate is to take a seat somewhere comfortable and quiet to reflect on the day you are dealing with. 

Brittina Johnson, a counselor at the Counseling Center, said conflict is completely normal but when you are forced to spend time in your home or dorm room with people, unpleasant situations can arise with others. 

“Things to consider when managing a conflict: Remain calm and take a deep breath before responding,” Johnson said. “When the other person is speaking, listen to understand, not to respond.” 

Being calm and understanding during a conflict is the most important tool. The pandemic lockdown might have caused you significant stress, but you must realize that it caused the same amount for everyone else too.

Maggie Mercer, a junior psychology major, said that during quarantine people were forced to come face to face with their mental health struggles. 

“Without the distraction of work, I began to realize issues that needed to be worked on and I attended therapy when restrictions started to lift,” Mercer said. 

Therapy is for everyone and a fantastic tool to help with your issues. There isn’t anything to be ashamed of about going to therapy. 

You can visit the ULM counseling center from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7-11:30 a.m on Fridays.