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Hello Everybody,

It’s been about a week since mandatory shelter in place went into effect.  I don’t know about you, but it feels like a year and there’s a long way to go!

If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone.  This is an unprecedented situation fraught with anxiety and we aren’t able to employ our usual means of stress reduction.  Here are some tips that I hope will be helpful:

  1. Follow all safety guidelines and then try to stop thinking about it.  Worrying won’t help.
  2. Keep your news intake limited.  Of course we all want to know what’s going on including any new developments.  But watching obsessively doesn’t change anything and can really overload your brain.  I have always watched a lot of news.  I now watch one hour in the morning and one hour at night.  That’s plenty!
  3. Try to establish some routine in your daily life.  Most of us have lives that are defined by work, school or some regular activity.  This keeps us grounded and productive.  In the absence of that routine, we can feel adrift.  This is a common complaint of people who are new to retirement.
    1. Go to bed and get up in the morning at approximately the same times.
    2. Do some chores to keep your house in order.  A neat, clean environment is soothing for most people.
    3. Don’t overindulge with food, alcohol or drugs.  These are common stress relievers that end up creating more problems than they solve.  You don’t want to leave quarantine fat, alcoholic and addicted!
    4. The computer is an open invitation to obsessive and usually not very good for you behaviors.  Be disciplined about having a set screen time that you stick to.
  4. Those are some don’ts.  But there are some do’s as well:
    1. This is a great time to learn a language or any new skill.
    2. Play board games; do puzzles.  These are especially good relationship activities.  They can connect you and your partner without a lot of talking or emotional processing.
    3. Of course talking with your partner is good if it feels productive to both of you.  It’s a bad time to try to solve chronic problems. 
    4. Relationship stress is bound to arise as you conduct your lives in close proximity.  Give each other the benefit of the doubt.
    5. If your temper flares, if you feel at the end of your rope, take a break.  If it’s safe, take a walk.  Go in the other room and take some deep breaths, meditate.  Don’t reengage until you feel calm.
    6. Exercise is always good.  Obviously team sports are out, but you don’t need a lot of room for yoga or Pilates.  There are good You tube videos to guide you if you are a novice.
    7. Stay connected through social media platforms so you don’t feel isolated.
    8. Watch TV and movies.  There’s some really good stuff out there!

 

This is a time to be good to yourself.  Reaffirm your worth as a human being.  We are all connected in this and who knows- maybe that will ultimately prove a silver lining for our planet as a whole.

Most of the therapists I know, including me are working remotely.  So if you need help, be sure to reach out.

Best,
Sally

 


sally

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Sally LeBoy,
M.S. MFT (14768)

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