The winter holidays are typically stressful. Throw in Covid-19 and many of us are wondering what the holidays will look like this year. We might find ourselves having difficulty explaining to our children why we can’t see family, travel, or why we have to forgo our cherished holiday traditions.
It’s been quite the year. That may be the understatement of all understatements. We’ve been locked down, shaken up and living in uncertainty for many months. Everyone is looking for, and hoping for, some stability.
Winter in the Northeast can be challenging on a good day. The colder temperatures, fewer daylight hours, and wet weather can take a toll on our emotions. It’s easy to go into hibernation mode and lose steam during the long winter months. We may have the urge to spend more time sleeping, binge-watching Netflix, or eating our favorite comfort foods.
I’ve been thinking a lot about dialectics during this Pandemic. If you are new to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a dialectic is defined in DBT as two truths that coexist, even if they seem opposite. The dialectic that strikes me the most is the truth that we are seemingly living in very primitive times with a virus that has no known cure, even though we are so technologically advanced.
Over the last few months, we have been put to the ultimate test as a society. Between the fears of becoming physically ill, losing loved ones, and facing financial hardships, many of us are struggling. Although many states are beginning to re-open, fear of COVID-19 and its ramifications are ongoing.
I recently noticed a friend of mine who posted exquisite photos on her social media profile. She isn’t a professional photographer, but she has a knack for capturing the world. I mentioned how impressed I was of her ability, and she replied, "it's all in the lighting, my friend." In that moment, it struck me how important this concept is now more than ever, and not just in regards to Instagram photos.
The world as we know it has changed rapidly since early March. Within a matter of days, our lives and our daily routines changed drastically. Adults are no longer going into a workplace and children are no longer attending school. Life milestones like graduations and weddings are being put on hold or cancelled and as a result, many people are experiencing increased feelings of frustration, sadness, and disappointment.
If your life looked drastically different ten days ago, the good news is you’re not alone. With the vast majority of Americans (and even the world) in some sort of self-quarantine, many of us are adapting to the "new normal," which can feel isolating, confusing, exhausting and a host of other emotions.
With the emergence of Coronavirus, it’s safe to say that we are all a little anxious as we approach a changing world and the unknown. While there are many articles out there about managing the anxiety and fear of COVID-19, I thought it would be important to take a look at some psychological strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help us cope.