Coping with COVID-19
ALL STRESSED OUT WITH NO PLACE TO GO?
Susie Owen, LCSW, LISW-CP, CEAP
Biz Worx, LLC firstname.lastname@example.org
WHOLE PERSON CONCEPT
Family, Mental, Spiritual, Community, Social, Financial, Professional and Physical
WHEN IS FEAR HEADED OFF THE RAILS?
- It is natural to be fearful – it is part of the survival instinct
- 3 factors that contribute to increased fear: Unpredictable, Uncontrollable, Sustained
- When we feel out- of -control we want to gain control and there are various behaviors to attempt this: Irrational fears, or reactions, Micromanaging in other areas, and Gathering info excessively
WHEN IS WORRY TOO MUCH?
- When we become preoccupied (what if’s excessively)
- Can’t function due to the rumination (not sleeping, becoming immobilized, appetite disturbance)
- Watching the news 24/7
- Panic attacks
- If already experiencing or prone to anxiety, phobias, depression can exacerbate
- Need to realize if trying to help someone you cannot talk someone in or out of something -need to listen, support and encourage
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Expect range of emotions – vacillating from fear, sadness, and feelingok,
- Grief reaction to all losses of things not occurring (expect tearfulness – graduations, weddings and other milestones) Identify and talk about your feelings and encourage family to do the same
- Manage expectations – expect “cabin fever,” remind yourself “I am doing the best I can,” consider what you can and can’t control at this time and let go of perfectionism
- Positive self-talk – pay attention to your own language
- Don’t allow fear to take over – counter thoughts
- Communicate – if you don’t talk it out will act it out (important with family in close proximity), give each other space Stay Informed and not overload – use reliable resources like the CDC and be careful of social media posts Physical/ Safe distance vs Social distance
- Help others– reach out appropriately via phone and social media to family, those living alone and elderly
- Keep routine and structure – modified version if necessary
- Healthy distractions
- Regular exercise – online resources in place of going to the gym
- Eat healthy for immune system (mushrooms, broccoli, and tomatoes)
- Get fresh air – if ok in your community to go outside while still practicing physical distance
- Get creative – teaching kids life skills, pull out your procrastination list, and Italians singing from their balconies Gratitude
- Utilize resources
LOOK AROUND YOU AND FIND:
Grounding exercise for anxiety and panic
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
- Repeat as many times as needed
KEEPING IT SIMPLE -DAILY QUARANTINE QUESTIONS:
- What am I grateful for today?
- Who am I checking in on or Connecting with today?
- What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
- How am I getting outside today?
- How am I moving my body today?
- What beauty am I either creating, cultivating or inviting in today?
FROM: CENTER FOR MINDFULNESS AND JUSTICE
This too will pass and we may grow from the experience.
Utilize your EAP as they are available to support you and your family
- The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns, MD
- Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman, PhD (book and other resources on his website)
- The Power of Vulnerability by Brene’ Brown
- Podcasts – Search topics of stress, anxiety or depression
- Search your APP Store for “anxiety relief”
There are many apps for anxiety, depression and sleep disorders
Apps like “Headspace” and “Calm” – https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath (free resource page)
- Chopracentermeditation.com – offering free daily mediation
- Classcentral.com – free online courses from colleges
- Audiblestories.com – free stories for young readers and the classics