Coping with COVID-19

ALL STRESSED OUT WITH NO PLACE TO GO?

Susie Owen, LCSW, LISW-CP, CEAP
Biz Worx, LLC bizworxsusie@gmail.com

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
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • 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


REMEMBER
This too will pass and we may grow from the experience.
Utilize your EAP as they are available to support you and your family

RESOURCES:

  • 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