While COVID-19 continues to disrupt life around us, TherapyWorks is committed to you! Keeping focus on the emotional wellness of our community is our top priority. Now more than ever, we’re dedicated to keeping you connected to helpful ways to care for yourself and your loved ones — when it matters most!
It Part 1 of our Coping With COVID series, we are covering 10 simple things you can do to calm the chaos of this time. Staying emotionally well is so important, and we are here to help you make it manageable and make it a priority. Come back each week for new information and resources for coping with COVID.
- Tune-in to your emotions – Accept things are challenging. Don’t ignore it. The perspective we have of our lives and the world around us can often take a nose dive and get stuck in a rut or in the negative. Try to lighten the mood and laugh a little. Use a glass-half-full mentality, look for the silver lining and watch your mindset shift for the better.
- Think happy – Take time to think about the things that make you happy. Look through old photos, reminisce about fond memories. Happy thoughts will naturally lead to happier emotions.
- Have Gratitude – The practice of daily gratitude will quickly shift your perspective onto what is going well in your world and lead you to better appreciate what you have in your life. This is an instant game changer! Bonus: write down what you are thankful for each day. It can be small things—sometimes those mean more.
- Give thanks. Expressing appreciation to others will lift your own spirits. Thank the people in your life and your community. Whether that is send thank you notes, calling loved ones, or thanking essential workers and medical staff who are working to keep us all safe.
- Practice Mindfulness: Almost everyone knows what it is like to worry about things. Sometimes it can be overwhelming—your mind becomes a jumble of thoughts and questions. Meditation can help quiet your mind and put a stop to the voice-over or commentary that sometimes threatens to take over. People have meditated for centuries because of its effectiveness in relaxing and settling the mind.
The simplest meditation technique is to focus your attention on an object or spot in the room. (It can be anything.) Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Gaze at the object or spot, concentrating your attention on it for a few minutes and breathing slowly and deeply. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to the object or spot. You may want to choose a word to repeat as you breathe deeply and focus on the object or spot.
After a few minutes of meditation, you will most likely feel more relaxed. Work your way up to a 20-minute meditation session in the morning and another 20-minute session at night; you will notice the calming effects.
Try a new Meditation app like Calm or Headspace.
- Laugh. Tell a Joke. Watch a funny movie. Schedule time to reconnect with friends via video conference and laugh about old times. Laughter really is great medicine.
- Turn off the news. Get your update, then get out. While it is important to stay informed and up to date, sometimes it can be too much and turn into a negative influence. Teach yourself to stop worrying about things you have no control over. Focus instead on things you can influence. You will feel less stressed as a result.
- Take a break. Walk away for a quick refresh. During the day, take time to get away from distractions. Even 15 minutes of movement, fresh air and disconnecting from technology can improve your mood and productivity.
- Breathe! A few deep breaths can support your body’s relaxation response. This simple technique helps you relax. All you have to do is breathe in deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, and exhale slowly. Repeat this process a few times and you will feel calmer. Remind yourself to do this technique a few times each day.
- Get professional help: We are all adjusting to a new “normal” and change can be hard. Therapy helps us stay healthy, stable, and grounded, both emotionally and mentally. In times of anxiety, stress and uncertainty, therapy is a source of support and a safe space to process our experiences. Luckily, online therapy is available, and while the online therapy experience may feel different and new, we encourage you to give it a try. Online therapy is effective, trusted, and can allow ongoing connection and support during this time.