Coronavirus Coping Skills
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
I hate that my first blog post is about the Coronavirus- like HATE it. It’s all everyone’s been talking about for the past several weeks and I think we could all use a change of topic. I also know that the feelings this pandemic is bringing up- the anxiety, the stress, the worry, the fear, the uncertainty, the anger- are still very active for us all. Unfortunately, this is still a relevant topic for everyone in this world right now and I know there are a lot of people who need help getting through this pandemic, including me. So, as much as we may be craving a change of pace and wanting to avoid this topic, it’s important that we talk about it, because the urge to avoid is usually a sign that something needs to be addressed.
I first felt the effects of this pandemic a little over two weeks ago. Therapists were talking about closing their offices and transitioning to teletherapy, my friend's wedding got postponed, and everyone seemed to be growing more and more panicked. I felt drained, became super irritable with my fiance, and all I could do by the end of the day was lay under my weighted blanket and scroll mindlessly through my phone.
I realized my anxiety, stress, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed were getting the best of me and knew I needed to get ahead of them. I had been speaking with my clients all week about journaling, engaging in physical movement, and practicing radical acceptance so I knew what to do. I wrote out all of the things that were causing me to feel anxious, stressed, worried, angry, frustrated, confused, and sad. Next to each entry, I wrote a comforting statement or a statement that demonstrated acceptance. I moved my body by doing some stretching and looked over a worksheet on radical acceptance that I've been giving my clients. After investing just a little bit of time into these simple activities, I felt SO MUCH BETTER!
I'm writing this to remind you that you don't have to do anything drastic to feel better. Simple things like writing out how you're feeling, moving your body, looking over a worksheet from your therapist, and going outside (while practicing social distancing) can work wonders for your mental health right now. Tune in to how your feeling, try to meet your needs, and when all else fails, invest in a weighted blanket!
Take good care of yourself and stay healthy.