For many of us navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, every day feels like a rollercoaster of emotions. From cabin fever and restlessness to anxiety and depression, the feelings associated with this new normal can have a huge effect on our mental well-being.
To help you stay grounded and find some peace of mind during these uncertain times, our resident clinical psychologist, Dr. Sarah Borish, is on hand with helpful tips, tricks, and techniques.
“Things feel tremendously uncertain and unstable for many people right now,” Dr. Sarah says. “This sense of uncertainty can lead to new feelings of depression and anxiety or exacerbate underlying depression and anxiety.”
Here are three things you can do now to curb those anxious feelings.
It’s important to stay informed during this time, but Dr. Sarah suggests minimizing TV news viewings to help ease mental anxiety. “Important information will break through to you even if you don’t have the news running in the background all day,” she notes. If you are feeling particularly anxious, she recommends limiting your news consumption to 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after dinner.
To avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness, Dr. Sarah recommends scheduling regular video or phone chats with loved ones. “Use group chat features to get together with all of your friends at once, or watch the same tv show or movie as a group so you can talk about it like you’re in the same room,” she says. Finding games that can be played across multiple settings and platforms puts a new spin on game night. Even if you can’t be in the same room, you can still feel that human connection and bond.
“Consider making an appointment for virtual mental health services,” she recommends. “This is a great option for everyone trying to manage these changes. Even a brief virtual session with a therapist can be therapeutic and remind you that you’re not alone!”
Another benefit of virtual care? Research shows it can be equally as effective as in-person therapy. Adds Dr. Sarah: “You can log into a video session from your home or your office. Your therapist can meet you exactly where you are.”