What is lockdown stress?

During times of elevated stress, it is important to take care of yourself in whatever way your can. Lockdown is one of those times. Some reasons for greater stress are obvious, but one you may not be aware of is what happens to your body and brain. When you are in lockdown and masked up when you’re out, your nervous system is getting non stop reminders that things are “not how they should be”. This registers in your brain in a similar way to on ongoing dull alarm, registering that there is trouble/  This in turn keeps your stress system switched on. If we are to enter rest and give ourselves a break from this stress response, we need to exercise the best self care and ensure that additional stressors are not left unprocessed.

With so many things on hold at the moment, we want you to know that your mental health doesn’t have to be, in fact we are here to help you to keep it a top priority.

How do I protect my mental health?

Gone are the days when there was only one option for mental health support, by visiting a therapist in person. Nowadays, with the introduction of online therapy, you can speak to a qualified psychologist at a time and venue that suits. The support you need is literally at your fingertips from your desk or couch. The work is the same and the psychology intervention looks the same but the mechanism is via phone or video interface.

The outcomes in therapy have been shown to be the same whether face to face or not, and it’s important to know that the power of therapy does not lie in the forum but rather in the actual therapy. Some of the advantages of online psychotherapy include being able to access care from the safety of your own home, without needing to leave your local area, spending your time more efficiently and the added bonus of doing therapy from your favourite couch! For many people online therapy has become their treatment of choice because of these efficiencies; you still get the expert support you need and you can still put in the work of looking after your mental health, but you get to do so from the comfort and safety of your own home, removing any stressors linked with being out and about in an uncertain time.

What do other people say?

One client allows us to share “The first few times I literally pretended that the person on the other end was really there with me in the room. Before long, it felt normal and the therapy carried on just as well as it had before”

Another client shared “I was surprised that after several months of seeing my psychologist in person, I was able to talk about something I had never been able to speak about before. I think it just felt a little safer to be in my home on the phone and I found the words just came out as I was not looking at anyone sitting opposite me. I was surprised by how much it really helped me”

There are many other stories of people who have transitioned well to a different platform and have enjoyed the ongoing benefits of a strong therapeutic relationship.

What if I am nervous to try something new?

We understand that as with many things, change is not always easy and seldom initially comfortable. We are therefore here to encourage you to be brave enough to give it a go if you have not yet, to trust yourself to pivot with us while we support you in a slightly different way. This is the (temporary) new normal and we will do it together while still staying connected.

Will it affect my budget?

In Australia we are very fortunate in that co-payers also see the value of online therapy and bodies like Medicare, most private health companies and most third parties both allow and encourage online therapy with no change in the amount they co-fund. If you have any questions or concerns about online therapy and need more info, please contact us at contact@livingwellpsych.com.au. We are here to help.