There is a lot going on in the world right now, and a lot of uncertainty. It seems every time the news comes on, there’s some major announcement. Anxiety is at an all time high for everyone.
Governor Newsom of California has officially instituted a “Stay at Home” order. This means for most of us, we’ll be staying at home for the foreseeable future. I wanted to take a moment to provide some advice for how to handle these uncertain times.
- STAY CONNECTED! Technology has made it wonderfully easy to keep in contact with your friends and family. My own father has finally learned how to use FaceTime, and if he can do it, anyone can do it. Zoom allows for group meetings (my monthly bookclub had a “Quarantine and Chill” meeting on Zoom last week). However you do it, make sure you stay in touch with those you care about.
- SELF-CARE! Yes, you are home for awhile, but that doesn’t mean you need to exhaust yourself tackling your “When I have time” list. Take it easy on yourself – these are unprecedented circumstances, and we are all figuring it out together. Give yourself structure and set reasonable goals for the day, but be easy on yourself too. Keep some of your same routines (shower daily, eating proper nutrition, moving around a bit) and make time for engaging in your (inside) hobbies. For those of you working from home, don’t be surprised if your productivity isn’t the same as it was in the office. Life is different right now, and that’s okay.
- INCREASED ANXIETY: If you find yourself struggling with increasing anxiety, utilizing relaxation and meditation techniques can help decrease your anxiety. Calm has several meditation options. Personally, I use the Headspace app on my phone. And sometimes, “giving voice” to your anxiety by simply writing your thoughts down in a journal can help.
- RELIABLE INFORMATION: The 24 hour news cycle can be draining in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. When looking for information on COVID-19 and the latest information, use reliable sources. Personally, I’ve been following the reports coming from the CDC , the California COVID-19 site for state information, and the New York Times. Whatever sources you decide on, try to only check them a few times a day. Checking them hourly will only increase your anxiety.
- CONTINUE or START THERAPY: Thanks to technology, we can easily continue or even start therapy during these times by utilizing Telehealth. There is plenty of research that shows that Telehealth can be just as effective as in-person sessions. What matters is not how you get help, but that you are getting help. I know this is a difficult time for everyone, as we try to navigate the constant updates, changes, and live with the uncertainty of the future. If you are struggling with everything in the world right now, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We will work together to help you overcome this hurdle.
Stay safe and healthy everyone! And don’t forget to wash your hands!