Here are some helpful tips for dealing with the Corona Virus Self-Isolation.
You may be finding this self-isolation experience to be a wonderful, relaxing, and enjoyable one, or you may be finding it to be boring and frustrating. Some of you may even be feeling depressed, fearful, or anxious. Following are some suggestions for how to get through this time without letting your emotions get the best of you. If you need to talk, please feel free to contact me to set up a phone or Skype session.
1. If you were in therapy prior to the Corona Virus self-isolation, try to continue with any practices you were learning during your therapy, such as grounding and centering, challenging negative thoughts, de-stressing, etc.
2. Try to project a positive future, rather than a negative one. This may be difficult, especially if you are finding yourself low on funds right now. Think back to times in the past when you thought you wouldn't get through a difficult financial or emotional time and remind yourself that you did in fact get through it and that you will get through it this time, as well. Remember that none of us knows what the future holds. It is better for your emotional and mental health to let go of doom scenarios and to remind yourself that the future is unknown, so why not imagine a positive one.
3. Begin a new hobby, make phone calls to loved ones instead of texting, pick up that hobby or project you started but never finished, research or explore that new topic you've always been interested in, etc. Discover yourself again. Bring back your passions and interests, or find new passions or interests. You may be surprised by what you discover about yourself and your capabilities!
4. Don't judge yourself while going through this time. We all have our emotional ups and downs. Feelings are not logical, but are reactions to the situations we find ourselves in or the result of beliefs we hold about ourselves or life. Explore your feelings, rather than pushing them away. This is a good way to get to know yourself at a deeper level. Don't be afraid of your feelings. Feelings are messages from your self to let you know that something is bothering you. Just as you would listen to the feelings of a child and help them by giving them compassion and understanding, use that same approach for yourself. The worst thing you can do with your feelings is to discount or judge them and push them away. This only results in additional feelings of guilt, shame, or a sense of failure. Write them down, talk to a therapist, trusted loved one, or friend, and allow your feelings to teach you about yourself. It seems counter-intuitive, but acknowledging and expressing your feelings (safely and without harm to you or anyone else) will make them go away faster than pushing them out of your awareness. Feelings don't go away because we ignore them. They go away once we've honored them and addressed the underlying issue that caused them in the first place.
Following is a video to help you stay calm and find meaning in these trying times, and a couple of articles that might be helpful in helping your family deal with the situation. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Supporting children and young people with worries about COVID-19 | Emerging Minds (University of Reading, University of Oxford) Advice for parents, carers and people that work with children and young people
Talking To Children About Coronavirus | British Psychological Society
Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty | Psychology Tools
Tips from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration