COvid-19: Coping with isolation during Lock Down

How to cope with the sudden isolation during lock down

Scott Kelly lived on a space station for one year and he shared some tips in the New York times of 21 March 2020 on how to survive isolation.

For him a daily schedule, hobbies, daily connection with nature and people are some of the most important activities. During lock down when connection with people is limited, online contact can ease isolation and loneliness. From what he says it seems that planning and pacing what you will be doing everyday is key.  It gives purpose and keeps sanity. In a country like South Africa with it’s wonderful mild weather it is very difficult for most people to be confined in a home. We are used to living outside and enjoy wide open spaces and nature.

Here are some well written tips from Dr. Eileen Feliciano on how to keep mentally healthy during a lock down.


COvid-19 Tracker: South Africa

South Africa

Confirmed
706,304
+0 (24h)
Deaths
18,656
+0 (24h)
Recovered
639,568
90.55%
Active
48,080
6.81%

COvid-19 Tracker: Worldwide
Country Cases 24h Deaths 24h % Recovered % Active
USA 8,520,307 0 226,149 0 2.7% 5,545,619 65.1% 2,748,539
India 7,649,158 0 115,950 0 1.5% 6,792,550 88.8% 740,658
Brazil 5,274,817 0 154,888 0 2.9% 4,721,593 89.5% 398,336
Russia 1,431,635 0 24,635 0 1.7% 1,085,608 75.8% 321,392
Spain 1,029,668 0 34,210 0 3.3% - 0% 995,458
Argentina 1,018,999 0 27,100 0 2.7% 829,647 81.4% 162,252
Colombia 974,139 0 29,272 0 3% 876,731 90% 68,136
France 930,745 0 33,885 0 3.6% 106,839 11.5% 790,021
Peru 874,118 0 33,875 0 3.9% 788,494 90.2% 51,749
Mexico 860,714 5,788 86,893 555 10.1% 627,584 72.9% 146,237
UK 762,542 0 43,967 0 5.8% - 0% 718,575
South Africa 706,304 0 18,656 0 2.6% 639,568 90.6% 48,080
Iran 539,670 0 31,034 0 5.8% 434,676 80.5% 73,960
Chile 494,478 0 13,702 0 2.8% 466,643 94.4% 14,133
Iraq 434,598 0 10,366 0 2.4% 366,134 84.2% 58,098
Italy 434,449 0 36,705 0 8.4% 255,005 58.7% 142,739
Bangladesh 391,586 0 5,699 0 1.5% 307,141 78.4% 78,746
Germany 380,898 0 9,955 0 2.6% 298,300 78.3% 72,643
Indonesia 368,842 0 12,734 0 3.5% 293,653 79.6% 62,455
Philippines 360,775 0 6,690 0 1.9% 310,642 86.1% 43,443
Turkey 351,413 0 9,445 0 2.7% 306,939 87.3% 35,029
Saudi Arabia 342,968 0 5,217 0 1.5% 329,270 96% 8,481
Pakistan 324,077 0 6,673 0 2.1% 308,020 95% 9,384
Ukraine 309,107 0 5,786 0 1.9% 129,533 41.9% 173,788
Israel 306,162 0 2,278 0 0.7% 282,505 92.3% 21,379
Netherlands 244,391 0 6,814 0 2.8% - 0% 237,577
Belgium 230,480 0 10,443 0 4.5% 21,214 9.2% 198,823
Canada 203,688 0 9,794 0 4.8% 171,743 84.3% 22,151
Czechia 193,946 0 1,619 0 0.8% 79,108 40.8% 113,219
Poland 192,539 0 3,721 0 1.9% 95,956 49.8% 92,862
Romania 186,254 0 5,996 0 3.2% 134,395 72.2% 45,863
Morocco 179,003 0 3,027 0 1.7% 148,838 83.1% 27,138
Ecuador 154,115 0 12,404 0 8% 134,187 87.1% 7,524
Bolivia 140,037 147 8,526 24 6.1% 105,526 75.4% 25,985
Nepal 139,129 0 765 0 0.5% 96,609 69.4% 41,755
Qatar 129,944 0 224 0 0.2% 126,866 97.6% 2,854
Panama 125,739 0 2,585 0 2.1% 102,028 81.1% 21,126
Dominican Republic 121,973 0 2,204 0 1.8% 99,271 81.4% 20,498
Kuwait 117,718 0 714 0 0.6% 109,198 92.8% 7,806
UAE 117,594 0 470 0 0.4% 110,313 93.8% 6,811
Oman 111,033 0 1,122 0 1% 96,949 87.3% 12,962
Kazakhstan 109,623 0 1,768 0 1.6% 105,145 95.9% 2,710
Sweden 106,380 0 5,922 0 5.6% - 0% 100,458
Egypt 105,705 0 6,142 0 5.8% 98,413 93.1% 1,150
Portugal 103,736 0 2,213 0 2.1% 61,898 59.7% 39,625
Guatemala 102,219 0 3,546 0 3.5% 91,604 89.6% 7,069
Costa Rica 97,922 0 1,222 0 1.2% 60,109 61.4% 36,591
Japan 93,480 0 1,676 0 1.8% 86,513 92.5% 5,291
Ethiopia 90,490 0 1,371 0 1.5% 43,638 48.2% 45,481
Honduras 89,381 0 2,576 0 2.9% 35,398 39.6% 51,407
Belarus 88,909 0 937 0 1.1% 80,503 90.5% 7,469
Venezuela 87,644 0 747 0 0.9% 80,316 91.6% 6,581
Switzerland 86,167 0 2,145 0 2.5% 54,600 63.4% 29,422
China 85,715 11 4,634 0 5.4% 80,834 94.3% 247
Bahrain 78,533 0 305 0 0.4% 75,089 95.6% 3,139
Moldova 67,958 0 1,617 0 2.4% 49,083 72.2% 17,258
Austria 67,451 0 914 0 1.4% 51,407 76.2% 15,130
Armenia 66,694 0 1,101 0 1.7% 48,734 73.1% 16,859
Lebanon 64,336 0 531 0 0.8% 29,498 45.8% 34,307
Uzbekistan 63,831 0 534 0 0.8% 60,910 95.4% 2,387
Nigeria 61,630 0 1,125 0 1.8% 56,797 92.2% 3,708
Singapore 57,921 0 28 0 0% 57,819 99.8% 74
Paraguay 56,073 0 1,231 0 2.2% 37,167 66.3% 17,675
Algeria 54,829 0 1,873 0 3.4% 38,346 69.9% 14,610
Kyrgyzstan 52,910 0 1,113 0 2.1% 46,139 87.2% 5,658
Ireland 52,256 0 1,865 0 3.6% 23,364 44.7% 27,027
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 50,906 0 746 0 1.5% 27,832 54.7% 22,328
Hungary 48,757 0 1,211 0 2.5% 14,637 30% 32,909
Palestine 48,129 0 421 0 0.9% 41,455 86.1% 6,253
Ghana 47,461 0 312 0 0.7% 46,752 98.5% 397
Azerbaijan 45,879 0 635 0 1.4% 40,272 87.8% 4,972
Kenya 45,647 0 842 0 1.8% 32,522 71.2% 12,283
Tunisia 44,450 0 711 0 1.6% 5,032 11.3% 38,707
Jordan 40,972 0 414 0 1% 7,123 17.4% 33,435
Afghanistan 40,357 0 1,499 0 3.7% 33,790 83.7% 5,068
Myanmar 38,502 0 945 0 2.5% 18,874 49% 18,683
Serbia 36,608 0 780 0 2.1% 31,536 86.1% 4,292
Denmark 36,373 0 688 0 1.9% 29,998 82.5% 5,687
Bosnia 35,389 0 1,017 0 2.9% 25,560 72.2% 8,812
El Salvador 31,975 0 929 0 2.9% 27,453 85.9% 3,593
Bulgaria 31,863 0 1,019 0 3.2% 17,414 54.7% 13,430
Slovakia 31,400 0 98 0 0.3% 8,004 25.5% 23,298
Australia 27,443 14 905 0 3.3% 25,126 91.6% 1,412
Croatia 26,863 0 382 0 1.4% 20,962 78% 5,519
Greece 26,469 0 528 0 2% 9,989 37.7% 15,952
S. Korea 25,424 91 450 3 1.8% 23,584 92.8% 1,390
Macedonia 24,196 0 850 0 3.5% 17,673 73% 5,673
Malaysia 22,225 0 193 0 0.9% 14,351 64.6% 7,681
Cameroon 21,570 0 425 0 2% 20,117 93.3% 1,028
Côte d'Ivoire 20,342 0 121 0 0.6% 20,044 98.5% 177
Georgia 19,857 0 158 0 0.8% 8,666 43.6% 11,033
Albania 17,651 0 458 0 2.6% 10,225 57.9% 6,968
Madagascar 16,810 0 238 0 1.4% 16,215 96.5% 357
Norway 16,772 0 278 0 1.7% 11,863 70.7% 4,631
Zambia 15,982 0 346 0 2.2% 15,038 94.1% 598
Montenegro 15,892 0 247 0 1.6% 11,581 72.9% 4,064
Senegal 15,459 0 320 0 2.1% 13,922 90.1% 1,217
Slovenia 14,473 0 192 0 1.3% 6,572 45.4% 7,709
Finland 13,849 0 351 0 2.5% 9,100 65.7% 4,398
Sudan 13,724 0 836 0 6.1% 6,764 49.3% 6,124
Namibia 12,367 0 132 0 1.1% 10,528 85.1% 1,707
Guinea 11,538 0 70 0 0.6% 10,447 90.5% 1,021
Maldives 11,271 0 37 0 0.3% 10,234 90.8% 1,000
Luxembourg 11,241 0 136 0 1.2% 8,471 75.4% 2,634
Mozambique 11,190 0 78 0 0.7% 9,007 80.5% 2,105
DRC 11,066 0 303 0 2.7% 10,362 93.6% 401
Uganda 10,788 0 97 0 0.9% 7,066 65.5% 3,625
Tajikistan 10,574 0 80 0 0.8% 9,617 90.9% 877
French Guiana 10,268 0 69 0 0.7% 9,995 97.3% 204
Haiti 8,976 0 231 0 2.6% 7,303 81.4% 1,442
Gabon 8,884 0 54 0 0.6% 8,452 95.1% 378
Jamaica 8,374 0 174 0 2.1% 4,002 47.8% 4,198
Zimbabwe 8,187 0 233 0 2.8% 7,692 94% 262
Angola 8,049 0 251 0 3.1% 3,037 37.7% 4,761
Lithuania 7,928 0 118 0 1.5% 3,276 41.3% 4,534
Cabo Verde 7,901 0 87 0 1.1% 6,792 86% 1,022
Mauritania 7,634 0 163 0 2.1% 7,359 96.4% 112
Guadeloupe 7,329 0 115 0 1.6% 2,199 30% 5,015
Cuba 6,305 0 127 0 2% 5,806 92.1% 372
Bahamas 5,923 0 124 0 2.1% 3,525 59.5% 2,274
Malawi 5,861 0 182 0 3.1% 4,757 81.2% 922
Sri Lanka 5,811 0 13 0 0.2% 3,457 59.5% 2,341
Swaziland 5,800 0 116 0 2% 5,437 93.7% 247
Botswana 5,609 0 21 0 0.4% 915 16.3% 4,673
Djibouti 5,499 0 61 0 1.1% 5,384 97.9% 54
Nicaragua 5,434 0 155 0 2.9% 4,225 77.8% 1,054
Trinidad and Tobago 5,333 0 98 0 1.8% 3,758 70.5% 1,477
Hong Kong 5,262 0 105 0 2% 4,996 94.9% 161
Syrian Arab Republic 5,180 0 254 0 4.9% 1,596 30.8% 3,330
Congo 5,156 0 92 0 1.8% 3,887 75.4% 1,177
Suriname 5,144 0 109 0 2.1% 4,979 96.8% 56
Equatorial Guinea 5,074 0 83 0 1.6% 4,954 97.6% 37
Rwanda 4,996 0 34 0 0.7% 4,797 96% 165
Réunion 4,921 0 17 0 0.3% 4,445 90.3% 459
Malta 4,871 0 46 0 0.9% 3,282 67.4% 1,543
Central African Republic 4,858 0 62 0 1.3% 1,924 39.6% 2,872
French Polynesia 4,548 0 16 0 0.4% 3,202 70.4% 1,330
Aruba 4,355 0 34 0 0.8% 4,065 93.3% 256
Iceland 4,193 0 11 0 0.3% 2,930 69.9% 1,252
Mayotte 4,159 0 43 0 1% 2,964 71.3% 1,152
Estonia 4,127 0 71 0 1.7% 3,270 79.2% 786
Somalia 3,890 0 101 0 2.6% 3,166 81.4% 623
Guyana 3,796 0 114 0 3% 2,796 73.7% 886
Thailand 3,700 0 59 0 1.6% 3,491 94.4% 150
Gambia 3,655 0 118 0 3.2% 2,658 72.7% 879
Andorra 3,623 0 62 0 1.7% 2,273 62.7% 1,288
Latvia 3,609 0 47 0 1.3% 1,341 37.2% 2,221
Mali 3,411 0 132 0 3.9% 2,593 76% 686
Belize 2,886 53 45 0 1.6% 1,727 59.8% 1,114
South Sudan 2,847 0 55 0 1.9% 1,290 45.3% 1,502
Cyprus 2,839 0 25 0 0.9% 1,444 50.9% 1,370
Uruguay 2,623 0 52 0 2% 2,142 81.7% 429
Benin 2,496 0 41 0 1.6% 2,330 93.3% 125
Burkina Faso 2,406 0 65 0 2.7% 1,824 75.8% 517
Guinea-Bissau 2,403 0 41 0 1.7% 1,818 75.7% 544
Sierra Leone 2,336 0 73 0 3.1% 1,765 75.6% 498
Martinique 2,257 0 24 0 1.1% 98 4.3% 2,135
Togo 2,104 0 51 0 2.4% 1,555 73.9% 498
Yemen 2,057 0 597 0 29% 1,338 65% 122
Lesotho 1,918 0 43 0 2.2% 961 50.1% 914
New Zealand 1,912 25 25 0 1.3% 1,831 95.8% 56
Chad 1,399 0 93 0 6.6% 1,199 85.7% 107
Liberia 1,384 0 82 0 5.9% 1,273 92% 29
Niger 1,212 0 69 0 5.7% 1,128 93.1% 15
Vietnam 1,141 0 35 0 3.1% 1,046 91.7% 60
Sao Tome and Principe 933 0 15 0 1.6% 898 96.2% 20
Channel Islands 768 0 48 0 6.3% 659 85.8% 61
San Marino 766 0 42 0 5.5% 688 89.8% 36
Curaçao 759 0 1 0 0.1% 466 61.4% 292
Sint Maarten 756 0 22 0 2.9% 675 89.3% 59
Diamond Princess 712 0 13 0 1.8% 659 92.6% 40
Turks and Caicos Islands 698 0 6 0 0.9% 689 98.7% 3
Gibraltar 608 0 0 0 0% 471 77.5% 137
Papua New Guinea 581 0 7 0 1.2% 541 93.1% 33
Burundi 550 0 1 0 0.2% 497 90.4% 52
Taiwan 543 0 7 0 1.3% 495 91.2% 41
Saint Martin 531 0 8 0 1.5% 380 71.6% 143
Tanzania 509 0 21 0 4.1% 183 36% 305
Comoros 504 0 7 0 1.4% 494 98% 3
Faroe Islands 488 0 0 0 0% 472 96.7% 16
Eritrea 452 0 0 0 0% 388 85.8% 64
Mauritius 419 0 10 0 2.4% 379 90.5% 30
Isle of Man 348 0 24 0 6.9% 321 92.2% 3
Bhutan 330 0 0 0 0% 301 91.2% 29
Mongolia 326 0 0 0 0% 312 95.7% 14
Cambodia 286 1 0 0 0% 280 97.9% 6
Monaco 271 0 2 0 0.7% 227 83.8% 42
Cayman Islands 235 0 1 0 0.4% 214 91.1% 20
Liechtenstein 235 0 1 0 0.4% 142 60.4% 92
Barbados 222 0 7 0 3.2% 204 91.9% 11
Bermuda 188 0 9 0 4.8% 174 92.6% 5
Caribbean Netherlands 150 0 3 0 2% 121 80.7% 26
Seychelles 149 0 0 0 0% 148 99.3% 1
Brunei 147 0 3 0 2% 143 97.3% 1
Antigua and Barbuda 119 0 3 0 2.5% 101 84.9% 15
St. Barth 72 0 0 0 0% 55 76.4% 17
British Virgin Islands 71 0 1 0 1.4% 70 98.6% 0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 68 0 0 0 0% 64 94.1% 4
Macao 46 0 0 0 0% 46 100% 0
Saint Lucia 36 0 0 0 0% 27 75% 9
Dominica 33 0 0 0 0% 29 87.9% 4
Fiji 32 0 2 0 6.3% 30 93.8% 0
Timor-Leste 29 0 0 0 0% 28 96.6% 1
Grenada 27 0 0 0 0% 24 88.9% 3
Holy See (Vatican City State) 27 0 0 0 0% 15 55.6% 12
New Caledonia 27 0 0 0 0% 27 100% 0
Lao People's Democratic Republic 23 0 0 0 0% 22 95.7% 1
Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 0 0 0 0% 19 100% 0
Greenland 16 0 0 0 0% 16 100% 0
Saint Pierre Miquelon 16 0 0 0 0% 12 75% 4
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 13 0 0 0 0% 13 100% 0
Montserrat 13 0 1 0 7.7% 12 92.3% 0
Western Sahara 10 0 1 0 10% 8 80% 1
MS Zaandam 9 0 2 0 22.2% - 0% 7
Anguilla 3 0 0 0 0% 3 100% 0
Solomon Islands 3 0 0 0 0% - 0% 3
Wallis and Futuna 1 0 0 0 0% - 0% 1


25 MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS TIPS for QUARANTINE

– from Eileen Feliciano

I can’t control a lot of what is going on with COVID-19 right now, but I can contribute this content to consolidate my advice and make a list that I hope is helpful to all.
Dr. Eileen Feliciano. PsyD, Clinical Psychologist in Brooklyn, New York

1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.

2. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.

3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. Open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.

4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!

5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!

6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!

7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.

8. Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.

9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.

10. Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.

11. Expect behavioral issues in children, and respond gently. We are all struggling with disruption in routine, none more than children, who rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. Do not introduce major behavioral plans or consequences at this time—hold stable and focus on emotional connection.

12. Focus on safety and attachment. We are going to be living for a bit with the unprecedented demand of meeting all work deadlines, homeschooling children, running a sterile household, and making a whole lot of entertainment in confinement. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations in all domains, but we must remember that these are scary and unpredictable times for children. Focus on strengthening the connection through time spent following their lead, through physical touch, through play, through therapeutic books, and via verbal reassurances that you will be there for them in this time.

13. Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance. This idea is connected with #12. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self-acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.

14. Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.

15. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.

16. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others.

17. Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it. In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. It helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.

18. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.

19. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, coloring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping etc) especially left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.

20. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all. See how relieved you can feel. It is a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!

21. Find lightness and humor in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.


22. Reach out for help—MOBIEG LIVE CHAT is there for you. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up your medications and your therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. There are mental health people on the ready to help you through this crisis. Your children’s teachers and related service providers will do anything within their power to help, especially for those parents tasked with the difficult task of being a whole treatment team to their child with special challenges. Seek support groups of fellow home-schoolers, parents, and neighbors to feel connected. There is help and support out there, any time of the day—although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.

23. “Chunk” your quarantine, take it moment by moment. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month from now. Often, when I work with patients who have anxiety around overwhelming issues, I suggest that they engage in a strategy called “chunking”—focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge that feels manageable. Whether that be 5 minutes, a day, or a week at a time—find what feels doable for you, and set a time stamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each chunk one at a time, and move through stress in pieces.

24. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeing free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.

25. Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. When psychologists work with trauma, a key feature to helping someone work through said trauma is to help them find their agency, the potential positive outcomes they can effect, the meaning and construction that can come out of destruction. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?

© 2020 Dr. Eileen Feliciano. PsyD, Clinical Psychologist in Brooklyn, New York

MOBIEG thank Eileen for her generous permission that allows us to use her article to help people in South Africa.  We appreciate your input!

Eileen Feliciano
NYS Certified School Psychologist
NYS Licensed Psychologist

 

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