Many of us are now being required to stay at home due to COVID-19, and this is so challenging when you have young children at home. While many schools are switching to remote learning, I have noticed how anxious many parents are about assisting their children in their education while keeping them busy in isolation. I empathize with this stress, and that is why I wanted to share with you some resources to help make your time at home more enjoyable for you and your children!
I struggle with Major Depressive Disorder, Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Complex PTSD. Mental health management is a huge passion of mine, and I am constantly sharing the benefits of alternative forms of therapy, such as bibliotherapy and art therapy.
Throughout the past week as more and more cities, states, and districts have begun to enforce shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19, I have seen something harmful unfold. Many people are out of a job and being forced to stay at home, while numerous influencers across all social media platforms have created videos and articles shaming individuals who are using this time to rest and practice self-care. Some influencers have broadcast how we need to use this time to be productive and “skill up” instead of being “lazy and watching Netflix”.
Books have always been a safe haven for me. Ever since I was young, I have found solace in and healing through reading. My healing experience with reading has led me to become a huge advocate for Bibliotherapy (the use of books as therapeutic tools). I am so excited to share this easily accessible form of therapy with you! Now is an excellent time to practice using books as therapy if you are self-isolating, and reading is something that you can share with anyone (including little ones) in your home.
I know that you are probably being bogged down with articles about the Coronavirus pandemic in one way or another, but I wanted to reach out and provide you with some of my personal help if you are struggling with mental illness during this time.
When I was growing up, I was labeled as a “shy” and “sensitive” child. I would cry often, and I would be criticized for it, which contributed to my quiet demeanor. Whenever I would express anger, I was told I wasn’t allowed to be mad, or that being angry was wrong. I learned that sadness and anger were “bad” emotions, and whenever I experienced either emotion, I felt ashamed as though something was wrong with me for feeling them. Throughout my life, I learned to internalize my sadness and anger, which has led to chronic self-harm and digestion issues. Soon into adolescence, the inability to express sadness or anger led me to lose the ability to express any emotion properly — even feelings such as happiness. In my life, I have also experienced relationships where my feelings were invalidated and gaslighting was a factor, which only contributed to my internalization of emotions and my distrust of my emotional experience.