‘Ask Me Anything’ with Toni Aswegan on ‘Mental Health and Covid-19’
Hello Now&Me community!
We understand that the world feels like a very anxious place right now, full of fear and uncertainty. This can take a huge toll on your mental health, which is why we collaborated with an expert, Toni Aswegan, to answer all your questions!
@tonitalkstherapy is a licensed mental health counselor and majorly focuses on areas of depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment and life transitions. You can ask her about anything that is stressing you out, how to cope, dealing with anxiety, what to do when feeling overwhelmed and anything else on your mind in regards to the pandemic.
Kindly post your questions in the comments down below by 17th March 2020.
@tonitalkstherapy will be answering them right here on this thread on 18th March 2020, Wednesday.
Asking questions shows strength, not weakness. Ask away and stay informed! 💗
How do I open up to my parents who’ve never really made an effort to understand me?My mother is emotionally abusive, has narcissistic traits and my dad doesn’t really listen either.
I’m breaking inside and I’m in desperate need of help. But I fear their reactions and I don’t want to be hurt all over again. But they are making certain decisions for my life and I can’t cope with it.
I am so sorry to hear that! If you are still living in their home or dependent on them, do what you need to do to get your basic needs met. If you’re an adult and out of the house, it sounds like time for boundaries. These might be spoken, like “I can’t continue this conversation if you continue to speak to me like that” or unspoken, like calling/visiting less often or speaking your mind even if they don’t respond well. This is a tricky situation, and I highly recommend finding a therapist to help you work more through your specific situation. -Toni
How do I overcome the anxiety of going to the grocery store
Consider a meal delivery service–where I am in Seattle those are still operating and really wonderful during this time! However, if you do go to the store in person, consider bringing someone in your household with you for support. Take deep breaths and focus on what you need to buy. Make it like a mission! This can help focus your mind and keep you grounded during the grocery trip.
My friends say that I’m getting tensed, stressed and worried for no reason at all and that I shouldn’t be anxious or depressed and this is just a physical problem which doesn’t affect mental health
You can tell them that physical and mental health are inextricably linked. They cannot be separated from each other. If they are unable to validate you, practice validating yourself and spending time with people who do validate you. It is totally normal to be stressed and worried right now. We are in the middle of a worldwide trauma. You’re not wrong for feeling how you’re feeling, and you are definitely not alone.
I’m feeling very anxious because I’m not able to do things which used to make me feel good about my day- like going to the gym. What do I do? I feel like I don’t have anything
Thank you so much! You’re right, it’s just because of the routine being disrupted. Will try this for sure.
You’re not alone. So many routines are disrupted right now, especially self-care routines. It’s time to get creative! How can you workout at home? There are lots of apps offering free workouts right now (Down Dog is one I’m using) and youtube is always a great source! We’ll have to adjust a bit, but whatever you can do to approximate your routine will be helpful.
How to get over the impending feeling of doom? Like everything is coming to an end, and that life in itself is purposeless and meaningless?
You’re definitely not alone, especially in these scary and uncertain times. I’d encourage you to seek out therapy to support you during this time. I’ll also share how I deal with this feeling when it comes up. I try to seek purpose and meaning. Right now, it’s doing things like this to support other people. It might be something like taking care of your pets, or making delicious food for yourself, or learning new things. Whatever it is, find what you value and engage in that. This is one of the biggest things that can help that sense of doom.
Thank you so much Toni, I appreciate your help
how to battle depression at home
Keep a routine–wake up, shower, get dressed, make the bed, etc. Keep yourself engaged in activities (reading, walking, engaging with friends/family). Move your body. Depression LOVES for us to be still and do nothing, because that’s when it starts to take hold strongest. Keep moving. Be kind to yourself.
Do we always have to show the truth even if it leads to death? We will feel guilty if we do not do this or injustice that we have wronged someone sometimes i feel iam not useful because i don’t do anything good i mean learning something like language or anything else
We’re sorry that Toni couldn’t answer your question. But if we may take the liberty of doing so ourselves, you must know that you don’t have to worry about being useful or resourceful. It is a scary and serious situation to be in. So, surviving it with a healthy mindset is key!
Don’t let social media pressure you into believing that you’re only useful when you’re being productive. Different techniques work for different people.
PS: Remember, your productivity does not determine your worth.
I don’t have good support system at home and it is tough for me to be at home right now but I have no choice. What can I do?
I am sorry that’s your situation at home, you’re definitely not alone. Reach out to your support system outside the home virtually–set up Skype dates, play games online together, text more often, use Marco Polo, etc. Engaging with people is crucial to our mental health, especially during this time of intense physical isolation.
Is it okay to cancel going to social gatherings even if everything is okay but I’m just feeling anxious ?
It’s okay to do whatever you need to manage anxiety! However, when we avoid things that generate anxiety, it tends to increase anxiety, so if it feels tolerably stress-inducing, I would encourage you to engage socially anyway (although right now, doing that virtually rather than in person because of the virus!)
Is it normal to feel that everything will never be okay again ?
Yup. Personally, I toggle between this feeling and hopefulness about this situation, and I know a lot of others that are feeling that, too. It’s totally normal. AND. Is it helpful? When I notice myself getting into that hopeless place, I try to find my values and live them. Engage in meaningful things, contribute to those who are struggling in the ways that I can, etc.
How do I stop comparing myself with others which affects my personal growth and caliber