IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — The changes to everyday life have many people feeling lost and fearful of the future. Therapists agree the number one thing that could spike anxiety or depression is often change.
Licensed Master Social Worker and Mental Health Therapist Megan Ledin, who runs a private practice out of Viewpointe Counseling in Ionia, explains change is hard for anyone but it’s especially difficult for those prone to anxiety or depression.
“Whenever there is a change in our life, big or small, it’s going to affect everything. Obviously, it’s affecting our jobs, it’s affecting our kids, it’s affecting the school world, the shopping, going grocery shopping. Everything has changed in our lives,” Ledin said. “We’re all human. We’re all in this together so I definitely want people to know there’s no right or wrong way to deal with this.”
One big change with all non-essential businesses closed, counselors and therapists are now working remotely with their clients.
“We’re all going to have to adapt our coping mechanisms to kind of fit into this new world, because right now it is a new world,” Ledin said. “So, if we try to sit around and think about how doom and gloom and how bad things are right now. It’s not really going to help us because again there is so much out of our control so we need to focus on what we can do, what can we control.”
Ledin argues there are three things she tells all her clients to try to focus on during the free time of the stay-at-home order.
Three things she says can lead to positivity and productivity. Keeping busy, thinking about a project, large or small and limiting social media and the negativity that can come with it.
“There are things we can do to keep our mind and body busy, so focusing on positive things that you can be doing. You know, for some people that might be reading, jogging, exercising, things that are going to keep you busy in a positive way,” Ledin said. “I have some people who are doing absolutely amazing. They have got schedules, they have got a new routine, they are keeping their kids really active and doing all kinds of fun projects and setting game nights and things like that. Then I have some people who feel like paralyzed, so it’s kind of all over the board right now.”
Ledin still regularly communicates with her clients, she also speaks to a larger audience on YouTube. There she says she is able to connect on a less personal but more positive way to more people.
“I believe my videos on YouTube and my Facebook page are a great supplement to my counseling sessions, but they are not of course related,” Ledin said. “You’ll see me wearing wigs, hats, you know dressed up like a dog. It’s again covering a serious topic but sometimes we just need to laugh — and that’s OK. There is no one way to deal with any of this. This is new for all of us.”
If you’re interested in watching her videos, or connecting with Ledin for therapy sessions, she says the best way is by reaching out to her on her public Facebook page.
“Whatever it is you’re feeling, it’s OK. There isn’t something wrong with you if you’re feeling angry,” Ledin said. “The last thing I tell my clients is to try focusing on gratitude and think about the things we’re thankful for. In my videos I say, if we focus on gratitude, it will change your attitude. I firmly believe that.”