Life during the COVID-19 pandemic creates so many different emotional reactions, including disappointment, fear/anxiety, and frustration. Under normal circumstances, when we strive for growth, change or achievement, we may encounter challenge and adversity. With the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining normalcy and stability and just surviving is difficult. Whatever your current circumstance, here are some ways to cope when things don’t go as planned.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how 2020 has been a year of change and growth. For most people, the challenge to adjust creates stress and worry. As time passes by, we may have a sense that there's not enough time to do everything we need and want to (which can add to stress and feeling discontented). How can we avoid these time pressures and feel satisfied with the moments we live? For this reason, I want to offer 3 ways to continue building hardiness and resilience (in other words, the ability to remain calm in the face of crisis and recover quickly) so that stress levels stay manageable and not overwhelming. This important conversation also applies to the anxiety and worry we may feel with the holiday season/end of year, ongoing pandemic & prolonged stay at home/distancing recommendations, and presidential election.
Stigma around mental illness conditions has troublesome consequences for persons living with mental illness. Stigma continues even though public awareness is growing and persons living with symptoms are seeking help more often.
Examples of mental illness stigma beliefs include:
Social comparisons can lead to strong anxious feelings, low self-esteem, and hesitation to take risks or engage in personal growth. At the same time, social comparisons can help us determine what is normal or healthy and help us to improve our performance and behaviors appropriately. When does comparing ourselves to others become harmful and unhealthy? How can we stop comparing ourselves in unhelpful ways?
RELATIONSHIP CORNER : A Look at Social Isolation due to Corona Virus Distancing Among Those With Chronic Illness
Linda Rodgers’ article discusses the emotional challenges faced by those that are isolating from others and limiting their usual activities to limit risks of catching and spreading COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2. The article offers specific strategies for coping with the loneliness, recommendations to self-monitor for signs of worsening emotional health, and tips to limit risk when leaving the home is necessary.
Primary insomnia refers to sleep difficulties that are not due to medication side effects, caffeine/stimulant or other substance use, or psychological/physical health conditions. Primary insomnia is characterized by:
After weeks of news overload and discouraging statistics reflecting the impact of the Corona Virus, I want to understand and help my community understand how we might live and find meaning as we wait for an effective COVID-19 vaccine or treatment. As a licensed psychologist, here are my immediate thoughts:
I’ve been thinking some time to write a post about dealing with suicidal thoughts. In this post I will offer suggestions on what to do if someone in your life is suicidal or has struggled with these thoughts.
1. Listen and be present with them. Try to listen with a goal of understanding and suppress the urge to panic, fix them, or tell them that they are wrong to think/feel that way.
What is lifestyle medicine? Following specific guidelines and practices for food choices, stress management, being physically active, avoiding risky substance use and nicotine use, getting enough sleep, and having a strong emotional support system in your life can powerfully prevent, treat, and often even reverse chronic disease and select autoimmune conditions (source: The American College of Lifestyle Medicine).
Are you feeling lonely or wondering how you will manage being alone during this holiday season? Holidays and other special occasions can feel like a punishment in addition to all the other non-holiday calendar years that one faces alone. When alone, I would go back and forth between thinking that I was fine alone and “didn’t need anyone”, or just busying myself and not dwelling so much on being alone, or having a pity party about being alone and wondering which friends I could call to complain about my misery.