The Emotional Toll Of COVID-19 On Women And Girls
One week ago we had a chat on the psychological and emotional toll of COVID-19 on Women and Girls with Rebecca Wamwene. Rebecca is skilled in case management and planning treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy, Bowenian family therapy and expressive arts therapy.
Bowenian Family Therapy is a counselling approach that a therapist uses to explore the presenting issues of a client. It maintains that an individual is best understood within a family context. Expressive art therapy combines psychology and creative processes to promote emotional growth and healing.
In this article, we look at the emotional toll of COVID-19 on women and girls, and the questions that were addressed in the chat
Are there tell-tale signs to tell when a child is facing emotional distress, or what are the signs of the emotional toll of COVID-19?
Yes. Depending on the age, there can be changes in sleep and feeding patterns, nightmares, regression, crying without a genuine reason, clingy behaviour, anger tantrum and change of temperament in extreme cases.
How can we keep the young girls engaged during this isolation period to make sure they’re doing the right things and are also emotionally fulfilled?
Have time with them. Listen to them, reason with them. Be a role model and work with them where necessary.
How can you identify that you are emotionally drained if you live alone and have been going through the daily motions without time to reflect?
Listen to your body. Success in life is determined by the level of SELF AWARENESS. Are you aware of how you feel when your energy is depleted? Are there things you used to do that you don’t do them anymore? Are you aware of your limits? Remember you are like elastic so take care of your elasticity.
Are there signs to look out for to spot emotional abuse that may be happening in your relationship/marriage?
Yes! Gaslighting, controlling morbid jealousy and the language your spouse uses on you eg. you are useless, other women or men are unlike you etc.
What are the next steps to take to get out of an emotionally abusive situation?
Express how you feel to your partner. Communication is a central pillar in any relationship. You can:
- Listen to their view
- Seek counselling and therapy from a professional
- Make an independent choice
My husband was always a calm man but recently he spends most of his day drinking and comes home just before curfew always in a bad mood and starts a fight. How do I deal with this moving forward as I have had 3 months of emotional abuse?
I hear you and I empathise with you. You may need to seek professional help. I pick that there is a sudden change of behaviour, temperament and mood. There is a need to explore the underlying cause lest we make a wrong diagnosis and judgement. You, however, need to take care of yourself. See a counsellor for Psychological First Aid.
I have a friend who had experienced trauma in the past and it affected her emotionally. Are there any ways you can share that I can help her realize that she should seek professional help to help her find closure and heal from what happened? It’s somehow affecting the relationship she’s currently in
You will need to help your friend process the trauma by going for counselling. Trauma is like a physical wound or a deep cut, if it’s not properly treated or dressed, it will cause untold damage to the whole part of the body that suffered the injury. Tell her to seek professional help as soon as possible.
The best silent place you can find is inside you. Consider yourself a whole package. Give yourself the priority and remember there can never be number two you. Always consider self-care. Your happiness matters to you the most. How do you prioritize yourself? Consider this loaded vehicle as your loaded brain due to; childhood traumas, emotional pains, anger issues etc. It only makes it worse. Engage in mission deletion. Empty everything for you to achieve your happiness.
What advice would you give women close to giving birth or pregnant during a pandemic on how to take care of themselves emotionally? Especially to make sure they still get antenatal care, go to the hospital to give birth postnatal care and vaccinations?
Security begins with you. First, they can practice inhaling and exhaling every morning. They can do the 4…7….8 pattern for at least five times every morning. It relaxes the brain. That way they will manage to eradicate fear, think right and follow all the provided guidelines.
How can a couple rebuild their emotional bond or parents with their children rebuild an emotional bond if it’s broken? How can they tell it’s broken?
They can only tell the bond is broken if, in the beginning, they knew it was there. If I may quote the Bowenian Therapy that has 8 interlocking concepts. Two are quite indicative of broken relationships.
- Emotionally cut off cut-off. People grow distant whereby they used to call each other, text, share meals at the same table, have fun but now they don’t.
- Triangulation, where two people are comfortably close unlike earlier where all had fun together.
Apart from the police station and chiefs camp, the following offer help to domestic violence victims
- Childline Kenya: Location: Kirichwa lane, Nairobi Helpline: 116, WhatsApp:0722116116
- Gender violence recovery: Location: Nairobi women hospital. Helpline:0719638006
- Centre for assault recovery( CAR_E) Location: Moi teaching referral.Helpline:+254532033471/ +254532062005.
- Women Right Sweetness programme ( wrap): Location: Mvuli lane near muthaiga police
- Helpline:0722252939 / 0721367677
- Fida-Kenya is also offering counselling and legal aid services: helpline- 0800720-501
If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp us on +254736275978.
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