As we enter this unprecedented phase of the pandemic, how do we as individuals and parents cope? Dr. Giuseppe (Bepi) Raviola serves as the director of the global mental health team at Partners In Health. To help us through this difficult and scary time, he has outlined mental health strategies to help us adapt and cope while we engage in social distancing and upheaval of our daily lives.
We highlight several practices that might help us gain steady emotional footing in this strange new scenario that we are suddenly together in. Coach Beverly has also incorporated a few of her own suggestions.
- Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing. Find ways to keep connected with your important people. Use technologies such as skyping, facetime and others to keep in touch. Write those thank you cards you have been meaning to send or write a letter to a special person in your life.
- Create a schedule for your day and try to develop a routine if you are staying home. Make sure to include outdoor activities, time for mindfulness and connecting with others.
- Carve out time for physical activity. Try to stretch daily and breathe deeply. There are lots of dance instruction and yoga classes online for free. Maybe you want to try a new type of exercise that you can find online. Take a walk outside while talking to friends on the phone. National Parks are not charging admission fees to encourage people to enjoy nature.
- Try to limit internet time reading about COVID-19. Instead, consider this is a time for learning and intellectual engagement. Start learning that new language, read a book on a topic you are not familiar with, take online courses for continuing education. Dust off your guitar or piano or other instruments and take online lessons.
- Positive family time can help counter feelings of fear. Play games together, sing karaoke, work on outside projects, cook meals, or just hang out in a shared space.
- Remember to do the things that you really enjoy doing, that you can do in this situation.
- Reach out to neighbors that need help getting food and basic necessities. Look for ways to volunteer in your community.
- Take time for focused meditation and relaxation. We have a wonderful and free Mindfulness Practice for Health Care Professionals that you may want to explore.
- Limit exposure to TV and internet news. Choose small windows and then find ways to cleanse yourself of it.
- Bathe daily, if possible, to reinforce feelings of cleanliness. Take a bath in mineral salts, light candles, listen to soothing music.
Read more here.
Remember that we will get through this. We are resilient, smart and resourceful.
With love, Coach Beverly.
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