SAN ANGELO, TX – The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped our personal relationships in unprecedented ways, forcing us to live closer together with some people and further apart from others. not being able to attend weddings, funerals and other events have taken its toll.
“The social events that have been known to bring people together, creates this void and this sense of emptiness of not being able to participate,” Said licensed professional counselor Ben Hubert, who works for the West Texas Counseling and Guidance. “So I think those dynamics have been very difficult for people.”
In times like these, finding coping strategies are some great ways to strengthen your mental health and your social relationships.
“First of all, we must recognize and give voice to the difficulty,” Hubert said. “Being able to express to each other with ‘I miss you’, or ‘ I don’t like this’, ‘I’m sorry it’s this way, but it’s this way’, and accept the fact that right now this is how it is.”
By the time the virus becomes contained to safe levels, Hubert says complete normalcy will not return anytime soon. The damage will take more time to heal than we expect.
“The effect of the pandemic mentally, is going to be long reaching…probably two years,” Hubert said. “And so it’s going to affect how we are in relationship with each other.”
Hubert says none of us are immune from feeling the stress and the strain of this pandemic. This is a normal part of what we’re going through and denying that it’s there will only make matters worse.
“The best thing to do is give voice to and to continue to find healthy coping skills,” Hubert said. “We also must continue to reach out to people and to try to connect with them the best you can.”