COLORADO SPRINGS — Through our Rebound Colorado stories, we've worked to provide you with ideas and examples of ways you can try to manage the stress of COVID-19, shutdowns and isolation. We know months into the pandemic we still face mental health challenges. We spoke with a mental health pro and local moms about what you should do if you feel like you've tried everything and you're still struggling.
The pages continue to turn on the calendar, but the mental health challenges that go hand-in-hand with the COVID-19 pandemic are still all around us. It's making some people feel like coping techniques and old routines aren't working anymore. Mental health experts say that's OK. It's time to change it up.
"You can go to the wall and you have it listed. You have a wall for your chores for your kids and have a wall with coping skills for us adults. It's okay," said Cassaundra Hein, a mental health professional helping families to develop plans and coping skills to navigate the mental health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's like a toolbox. Your screwdriver may not work for this, but your hammer might. The next time, your screwdriver will work better than a hammer, so be okay with using them all over the place. Use them as a toolbox. What works today may work tomorrow and it may not. So just be okay with having that," said Hein.
24 weeks into the impact of the virus in Colorado, some of her clients say the routine that was working for them now isn't.
“I think sometimes when we use a skill and then we are like this is working and then a week later it’s like well now it’s not working and you kind of give up and you feel discouraged and defeated,” said Hein.
It's a feeling a group of Colorado Springs moms say they understand and they are working through.
"I kind of view it as the grieving process a grieving process that goes to different stages whether it's sad or angry or you laugh or the others all the different emotions that come out and I think that at some point in these 24 weeks I have hit every single one of them," said local mom and teacher Michelle Fenicle.
"I’m a combat veteran and I struggled with PTSD even before coronavirus. For over 10 years now," said Riggs. "Just remember everybody has problems. Everybody has those three baskets of laundry that need to be put away. Everybody has a bathroom that needs to be cleaned."
These local moms say finding spontaneous ways to break their families out of the same old routine has been important.
"There are just days where I’m like, OK kids get in the car. We're going to get donuts," said Riggs.
"My husband and I picked up a new hobby. We each started like gardening. He gardens outside and plants flowers and stuff. I have like a jungle of indoor plants now. So we picked up a new hobby to kind of keep us sane," said local mom and real estate professional Kelly Carter.
If you aren't sure what to do, start by finding a way to support others.
"If you speak out you'll find other people are going through this too and then you can help each other," said Carter.
But perhaps the most important message for anyone struggling is to stay connected.
"Whether it is your friends, it is your therapist, it's the VA, it’s somebody from your church, or your husband, your boyfriend, your spouse, anyone... just having that one person and just being brutally honest with them and if you're struggling let them know you're struggling. Then, figure out what is going to help you get out of that funk," said Riggs.
Rebound Colorado Rundown:
- Having structure and a routine is important
- Don't be afraid to make changes to that routine
- Be spontaneous to spice up your days
- Look for opportunities to help others
- Stay connected with people who can help you work through the tough days
For more "The Rebound Colorado" coverage to help you manage the pressure of what we are all facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://www.koaa.com/rebound/coronavirus-stress