COVID-19 – A Message from Behind the Curtain – How This Therapist is Managing Her Emotional and Mental Health as Our World Shifts in Front of Us

EXTRA ANXIOUS? 

You’re not alone.

Stress levels have increased with the pending COVID-19 outbreak.  The world is uncertain and the lack of stability in many areas is in front of us.  It feels like someone shook a giant snow globe and we are all waiting to see what happens when the snow settles.  What is this new world underneath the blizzard?

My clients, friends, and family members have all expressed an increase in anxiety and an overall shift in perspectives just in the past week.  What was important a week ago is now on the back burner.

 

BREATHWORK

My recommendations to clients are generally client specific and usually come with the spirit of ‘this is a suggestion of something to try if you’d like’.  One thing I recommend regularly is to sample guided meditation, yoga, or anything with diaphragmatic breathing.  It’s not about being flexible and a yogi guru, it’s just about taking a moment to focus on breathing so the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged.  Our parasympathetic nervous system is what allows us to calm down physically, and that in turn reduces anxiety.

 

RECOMMENDATION FOR GETTING THROUGH THIS

Here are some things I personally find helpful for me.  I feel like now is the time for self-care on steroids.  Not literally, but you get what I mean.  I suggest we each make a list of all of the things that we do for self-care.  Now add a few more options of things that we’ve been meaning to try, or haven’t had time to do.  Keep that list handy, like on a poster in your room for easy viewing.  When you’re overwhelmed, bored or lonely, go look at it and pick something.  I find it’s nice for me to have a visual list to look at because my brain stops working when I’m overloaded emotionally.

 

MY SELF-CARE POSTER

Here’s some examples of what’s on my poster.

Guided meditation.  I like long ones at night and 5-10-minute ones during the day. Sometimes a long one in the morning when I have time for a long bath.  YouTube has some of my favorites.

Long bath with calming music.  I have some faves for decompressing.  Trevor Hall.  Ben Howard.  Whoever you like to listen to that you find soothing.

Yoga.  I LOVE yoga.  But I barely do any long sessions that resemble yoga for yogis.  Still, when I make time for a few minutes of light stretching and slowed breathing, I can feel the difference.  Chair yoga is an awesome option too.

Netflix Binge.  Yep, I admit it.  Lots of distraction through Netflix lately.

Technology Break.  Taking an electronic break and taking a walk or playing cards is a nice break from the onslaught of scary news.

Keeping up with the news so I don’t feel out of touch, but limiting my news to sources I trust and once or twice a day.

Walking my fur babies.

-Cuddling with my fur babies.  

-Cooking.  Trying a new recipe once in a while.

Reaching out to friends and people in my tribe.  I feel like staying connected is really big right now.  I’m noticing it feels especially important to reach out to the people who are living alone.  It’s lonely enough without isolation.

Prioritize COMPASSION.  I try to give people (and myself) grace and compassion.  I’m skipping the “you should have” statements and just giving compassion for what is.

 

REMINDER OF THE DAY

Be kind.  Be compassionate.  Both to others and yourself.  This is messy and unsettling at best for all of us.  Don’t be afraid to initiate communication when you need it.  Text your friends.  Find ways to stay connected.   Do what you need to do to turn down the volume on stress, even a little at a time will still count.

Speak Your Mind

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701 W Sheridan Ave. Ste. 305
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

christah@evolutioncounselingokc.com
(405) 437-1588



Proud Member of TherapyDen

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