Hi Sequoia Counseling community !
In today’s blog, I am focusing on a health survival guide to get through this COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you are doing well in these crazy and unprecedented times. I think we are all going through a full range of different emotional and physical experiences right now- sadness, frustration, boredom, fear, grief, hopelessness.. the most challenging parts are the uncertainty of how long the Coronavirus will persist and the disempowerment we feel as our lives have turned upside down and our stress levels have skyrocketed. So how do we maintain a sense of control and resilience?
1) Follow a routine when possible. This is incredibly great advice to help with mood issues and stress, and can help with empowerment and productivity. Be flexible in how you set your routine and communicate your plan to family members or roommates for support. The infographic below is an example; there are many other schedule ideas available online, including ones for those of you with little pumpkins running around.
2) Take care of yourself and others. Continue following all Center for Disease Control precautions, as inconvenient and unpleasant as they may be. Don’t forget to exercise daily, limit eating junk, and get plenty of rest and water. This may be a great opportunity for you to start new hobbies, bond with your children in fun and new ways, or get into a new form of exercise for available online for free. Research shows that stress can impair the immune system- do what you can to protect your health and give it a boost through exercise and good nutrition.
Provided Courtesy of American College of Lifestyle Medicine
3) Stay connected. Aside from having more time with those you live with, there are opportunities to rely on phone calls, written letters, and video calls and conferencing. How can you express your needs to others? How might you be that encouragement or support to someone? Social isolation is increased during this time; take the time to think of those you know who might benefit from a quick “thinking of you” communication- and get to it ! Here are ideas for older adults coping with quarantining and directions for setting up video chat for Apple products and Android products.
4) Limit the excessive worrying and negative rumination. I think of excessive worrying and rumination as being comparable to a cow who has to chew his food for 35-40% of the day to prepare it for digestion. We can dwell on worries and negative thoughts about the past, present, and future which has a direct impact upon our mood and emotional/physical health. While some of this is normal given that the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening basic needs such as money, health, and relationship, “dwelling” can be unproductive if there is no action, solution. or insight that comes out of the thoughts. It may be that the worry/rumination process results in a solution that cannot be acted upon at this time. If this is the case, then acceptance and identification of coping strategies is recommended (versus continuing to dwell on the thoughts). Sorry for being so lengthy- but I just wanted to also emphasize that any challenges you are facing due to COVID-19 are not a reflection upon your worth, priorities/commitment/motivation, or abilities- and regretting past decisions is entirely unproductive. Let’s all be extra patient and compassionate with ourselves in these trying times. Since the economy is currently going for a horrible nosedive, this is a pretty good article with information on how to keep calm with money worries.
Contact me if you are interested in scheduling a therapy session or have follow up concerns. Be well <3 !
All blog posts from Dr. Soo Hoo are provided for educational and informational purposes only. As Dr. Soo Hoo is a licensed clinical and health psychologist, we must make it clear that nothing on the blog is intended to constitute medical or psychological advice, consultation, recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are concerned about your health, please seek appropriate care in your area.