by Timothy Schlairet, PsyD
Finding a sense of calm can be challenging in the best of times. When a pandemic is present, achieving calmness can seem borderline impossible. However, you have more control than you realize. Although your daily routine has likely changed significantly, the purpose behind your actions does not have to change. Establishing and maintaining a new routine is one of the healthiest steps we can take, both individually and societally.
The American Psychological Association has provided many recommendations for how to deal with the multitude of uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are a few of the steps you can take to maintain your physical and mental health, while also attempting to socially isolate and responsibly adhere to pandemic-related guidelines.
1. Reduce and streamline your intake of information. It can seem comforting to regularly scroll Twitter for updates, keep the news channel on in the background, or relay online anecdotes of sensational information to family and friends. However, such behavior tends to fuel anxiety, rather than provide further clarity. Find a few reliable resources (such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and limit your intake of news to a few times per day.
2. Identify areas in which you have control. People have a few staples in their day to day lives. Exercise and meaningful social interactions can become easier to neglect when we are isolated; however, they become even more essential to our health and wellness when we are largely homebound. You can work out in your backyard, garage, or even in the middle of your living room. You can also engage with others more intentionally, which brings up the next point…
3. Stay connected. Use your media resources (i.e., FaceTime, texting, old-fashioned phone calls). Call a friend during your morning cup of coffee; use Skype for a joint home-schooling lesson with your children's classmates/friends; chat with your friend on FaceTime while doing household chores. You are not alone in your feelings of fear, anxiety, or even anger. You can identify and explain what you are thinking and feeling and relay it to partners, children, and friends. Band together with others via the resources you do have!
We at Concierge Psychology remain available via telehealth to provide support during these trying times. Please contact us if you have any questions about the individual, family, and couples services we provide.