It might seem as if we’re back to a relatively “normal” life these days, but COVID-19 has certainly changed us and challenged our coping skills. According to a recent Psychology Today article, two out of three adults are feeling more stressed because of the pandemic—and that could be worse among younger adults.
Today’s guest is Tracie Pinnock, owner and therapist at Pursuit of Happiness Therapy LLC, a virtual coaching and therapy practice helping busy, ambitious women dealing with various types of stress. Her clients form proactive relationships by identifying their stressors and adopting learning tools. Tracie also offers online corporate stress workshops to increase mental wellness and productivity.
Tracie became a therapist after discovering a love of psychology in college. Eventually, she realized she would enjoy being a couple’s therapist, so she earned a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She began her own business in 2015 and entered full-time private practice in 2018. Today, she focuses on challenging life transitions such as breakups or divorce, along with stress management. As of September 2020, her business went fully virtual after working online before the pandemic as well.
As Tracie tells us, stress is a challenge in normal times, but during a pandemic, it can seem insurmountable. She believes there is no such thing as “stress free” as long as you’re alive. So, the goal should be to manage stress and find ways to cope.
First, Tracie talks about the many different stresses attached to the pandemic that wouldn’t be part of our normal lives before COVID. In addition, the extended time period of the pandemic and having to change our expectations about it caused great anxiety for many of us. As she explains it, these expectations upon entering a new situation can impact how we deal with it.
We also discuss couples or families who weren’t necessarily getting along great before COVID. The pandemic could have exacerbated an already difficult situation. In these cases, the uncertainty and lack of control could feed the anxiety. Tracie talks about how these situations affected couples and the different outlets they have to deal with the stress.
Tracie offers some tips for people to manage stress better. It’s important to identify your stressors and be deliberate around how you approach it, just as you’d plan and prep for other goals. She discusses what you can do, specifically, to identify your stressors and the different types. Once you know this, you can determine which approach to use to take care of the stressor depending on its source. Tracie also defines what “self-care” means. The bottom line is that being deliberate and consistent in your approach is necessary for success dealing with stress.
What happens if some of the stressors don’t resolve themselves? Tracie talks about how to deal with those situations as well and shares what she thinks is the most important word to know when it comes to stress.
In general, Tracie’s process applies to all kinds of women, whether mothers, women without kids, women who want kids, or single career women. It can then be applied to your life as needed. She touches on the idea that many women believe their family’s needs should come before their own, and why this is a mistake.
Our discussion wraps up with Tracie’s advice for anyone considering becoming a therapist as well as anyone who feels they could benefit from seeing a therapist, and different websites that would be helpful. She also shares how you can determine whether you’d benefit from seeing a therapist (spoiler: she thinks everyone can).
We all need support and we all struggle. The more we can normalize that reality, the better it is for everyone. So don’t wait to seek out support if you need it—whether with a therapist or other trusted person in your life.
Email: Tracie@tphtherapy.com to contact Tracie
Psychology Today: http://psychologytoday.com
Therapy for Black Girls: http://therapyforblackgirls.com
Good Therapy : http://goodtherapy.comOpen Path Collective: https://oppc.mentalhealthexcellence.org/therapy-within-reach/