By Becky Murray, CVT, MA, LCPC —
Hello from Veterinary Specialty Center’s Counselor’s Corner! This is Becky, hoping that you are all staying safe and healthy. I’m going to be sharing some thoughts with you about coping with the stress of COVID-19. I’ll also be providing some helpful links to resources you can use, and I will continue posting those as I find them.
Right now, some of the things we can’t control include: the order to socially distance, having to be at work, working from home, not working at all, the inability to have some “me time” while you are cohabitating with others or feeling isolated. These can all be sources of stress and anxiety.
But there is something that is so very important that it is in our control. It’s how we treat each other during this time. Look, we are all worried and stressed. I have to do lots of work every day to minimize my anxiety. But that makes it even more important that we are talking to each other with kindness.
Did someone just snap at you? Think about the anxiety that person must be feeling and try to empathize.
Did you just snap at someone? Ok, it happens, but think about going back to that person and telling them you are sorry, that the stress is getting the better of you.
Did you see someone standing too close to someone else? They need a reminder, but try to make it a gentle, kind reminder. We’ve had decades of standing right next to each other, hugging each other, and congregating. It’s difficult to break these habits and people will forget. For people who love hugs or who are extroverts, the distancing can be overwhelming.
If you need to redirect someone to distance, try to add something positive about them as well.
Let’s show appreciation for each other. Check on friends, family and acquaintances often. That small token of kindness could mean the world to them. We are all in this together and kindness will help us prevail.
Becky Murray is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) that counsels clients of VSC and our referral community on pet loss, quality of life decisions for pets and grief. She also lectures extensively in the veterinary community on Compassion Fatigue. You may reach Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-499-5700. More information about our services may be found here.