Coping with COVID during the holidays


The coronavirus has caused a disruption to everyday life for just about all of us, and with the holidays coming up, we may have to break with some of our traditions.
In an effort to help those of us struggling with anxiety and other mental health challenges stemming from the coronavirus, we reached out to SGCMH licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), Nickie Campbell, for some advice.

“The holidays may be a struggle for many,” said Campbell. “We may see an increase in depression and anxiety. People have traditions that they are used to doing, but that may have to change for this year. Families that are close and stick together, will come up with a way to where they can still have their traditions. Fortunately, celebrating with members of your own household pose low risk for COVID spread.”

Campbell said today’s technology may help keep families and friends together.

“We’re very lucky to have the technology today that we do and Zoom is certainly a great option where we can see and talk to each other,” she said. “That has really helped a lot of people stay connected. The holidays are about sharing time and sharing hope, and I think you need to treasure those things. There's a lot of ways to do it once you think about it."

Campbell said she has seen an uptick in depression cases in her practice related directly to COVID.

“Surprisingly the demographic that I see being affected the most is teenagers,” she said. “They don’t have the social life that they used to have. Sports and sporting events have been interrupted and they just can’t hang out like they used. All they have is their technology, which they had before, but for these active teenagers, it’s just not enough. Our teenagers are going through a lot of anxiety right now.”

Campbell said it seems to be easier on the younger kids.

“When I talk to parents they say things they never thought they’d say, like ‘my kindergartner now has a chrome book.’” she said. “These kids tend to go with the flow. I do worry about special needs children. They really need more attention.”

Campbell said it might be a good idea to curtail the nightly news a bit.

“Sometimes you just have to turn it off,” she said. “I understand it’s important to listen to the news and keep up with current events, but you can listen to it too much, and it can affect your mood. People need happiness in their life. We need to make an effort and find the joy in the holidays.”

If you’re needing a little help in coping this holiday season, contact Nickie Campbell, LCSW, at Pointe Basse Family Health Care, 573-883-2782.

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