COvid-19: Coping with isolation during Lock Down

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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
1,430,648
+0 (24h)
Deaths
42,550
+0 (24h)
Recovered
1,263,476
88.31%
Active
124,622
8.71%

COvid-19 Tracker: Worldwide
Country Cases 24h Deaths 24h % Recovered % Active
USA 26,166,201 0 439,517 0 1.7% 15,942,757 60.9% 9,783,927
India 10,702,031 0 153,885 0 1.4% 10,372,818 96.9% 175,328
Brazil 9,000,485 0 220,237 0 2.4% 7,798,655 86.6% 981,593
Russia 3,774,672 0 71,076 0 1.9% 3,202,483 84.8% 501,113
UK 3,715,054 0 101,887 0 2.7% 1,673,936 45.1% 1,939,231
France 3,106,859 0 74,456 0 2.4% 220,570 7.1% 2,811,833
Spain 2,774,014 0 57,291 0 2.1% - 0% 2,716,723
Italy 2,501,147 0 86,889 0 3.5% 1,936,289 77.4% 477,969
Turkey 2,449,839 0 25,476 0 1% 2,331,314 95.2% 93,049
Germany 2,179,679 0 55,358 0 2.5% 1,866,000 85.6% 258,321
Colombia 2,055,305 0 52,523 0 2.6% 1,880,041 91.5% 122,741
Argentina 1,896,053 0 47,435 0 2.5% 1,682,563 88.7% 166,055
Mexico 1,806,849 17,944 153,639 1,623 8.5% 1,362,525 75.4% 290,685
Poland 1,489,512 0 36,054 0 2.4% 1,246,267 83.7% 207,191
South Africa 1,430,648 0 42,550 0 3% 1,263,476 88.3% 124,622
Iran 1,392,314 0 57,651 0 4.1% 1,183,463 85% 151,200
Ukraine 1,200,883 0 22,202 0 1.8% 980,085 81.6% 198,596
Peru 1,113,970 0 40,272 0 3.6% 1,028,120 92.3% 45,578
Indonesia 1,024,298 0 28,855 0 2.8% 831,330 81.2% 164,113
Netherlands 961,593 0 13,733 0 1.4% - 0% 947,860
Czechia 956,155 0 15,791 0 1.7% 841,518 88% 98,846
Canada 761,227 0 19,533 0 2.6% 683,951 89.8% 57,743
Romania 718,612 0 18,015 0 2.5% 662,400 92.2% 38,197
Chile 709,888 0 18,040 0 2.5% 666,799 93.9% 25,049
Belgium 696,642 0 20,879 0 3% 48,224 6.9% 627,539
Portugal 668,951 0 11,305 0 1.7% 484,753 72.5% 172,893
Israel 621,590 0 4,605 0 0.7% 542,345 87.3% 74,640
Iraq 616,259 0 13,018 0 2.1% 586,327 95.1% 16,914
Sweden 560,472 0 11,425 0 2% - 0% 549,047
Pakistan 537,477 0 11,450 0 2.1% 492,207 91.6% 33,820
Bangladesh 533,444 0 8,072 0 1.5% 477,935 89.6% 47,437
Philippines 518,407 0 10,481 0 2% 475,542 91.7% 32,384
Switzerland 517,705 0 9,260 0 1.8% 317,600 61.3% 190,845
Morocco 468,383 0 8,207 0 1.8% 446,181 95.3% 13,995
Austria 408,781 0 7,564 0 1.9% 386,351 94.5% 14,866
Serbia 389,045 0 3,944 0 1% 31,536 8.1% 353,565
Japan 371,680 0 5,252 0 1.4% 308,164 82.9% 58,264
Saudi Arabia 367,023 0 6,363 0 1.7% 358,545 97.7% 2,115
Hungary 361,881 0 12,198 0 3.4% 246,596 68.1% 103,087
Jordan 323,111 0 4,262 0 1.3% 311,080 96.3% 7,769
Panama 315,400 0 5,176 0 1.6% 266,534 84.5% 43,690
Lebanon 289,660 0 2,553 0 0.9% 170,067 58.7% 117,040
UAE 289,086 0 811 0 0.3% 263,730 91.2% 24,545
Nepal 270,375 0 2,020 0 0.7% 265,069 98% 3,286
Georgia 255,564 0 3,108 0 1.2% 245,527 96.1% 6,929
Ecuador 243,535 0 14,704 0 6% 204,071 83.8% 24,760
Slovakia 241,392 0 4,361 0 1.8% 202,148 83.7% 34,883
Belarus 241,133 0 1,678 0 0.7% 227,068 94.2% 12,387
Croatia 230,359 0 4,913 0 2.1% 222,396 96.5% 3,050
Azerbaijan 229,584 0 3,105 0 1.4% 221,717 96.6% 4,762
Bulgaria 217,014 0 8,944 0 4.1% 181,622 83.7% 26,448
Bolivia 208,074 2,866 10,167 62 4.9% 154,377 74.2% 43,530
Dominican Republic 207,455 0 2,579 0 1.2% 150,804 72.7% 54,072
Tunisia 202,323 0 6,446 0 3.2% 151,214 74.7% 44,663
Denmark 196,540 0 2,050 0 1% 183,647 93.4% 10,843
Malaysia 194,114 0 707 0 0.4% 151,018 77.8% 42,389
Costa Rica 192,066 0 2,584 0 1.3% 150,748 78.5% 38,734
Ireland 191,182 0 3,120 0 1.6% 23,364 12.2% 164,698
Kazakhstan 181,117 0 2,476 0 1.4% 163,156 90.1% 15,485
Lithuania 179,212 0 2,716 0 1.5% 123,562 68.9% 52,934
Armenia 166,427 0 3,056 0 1.8% 156,053 93.8% 7,318
Egypt 163,761 0 9,115 0 5.6% 127,963 78.1% 26,683
Kuwait 162,862 0 957 0 0.6% 155,739 95.6% 6,166
Slovenia 161,662 0 3,425 0 2.1% 140,353 86.8% 17,884
Moldova 157,626 0 3,396 0 2.2% 147,864 93.8% 6,366
Palestine 156,996 0 1,808 0 1.2% 146,934 93.6% 8,254
Guatemala 156,497 0 5,513 0 3.5% 141,481 90.4% 9,503
Greece 154,083 0 5,724 0 3.7% 142,136 92.2% 6,223
Qatar 149,933 0 248 0 0.2% 145,251 96.9% 4,434
Honduras 142,880 0 3,486 0 2.4% 60,597 42.4% 78,797
Myanmar 138,802 0 3,089 0 2.2% 123,170 88.7% 12,543
Ethiopia 135,045 0 2,083 0 1.5% 121,594 90% 11,368
Oman 133,574 0 1,525 0 1.1% 126,486 94.7% 5,563
Paraguay 130,163 0 2,668 0 2% 105,353 80.9% 22,142
Nigeria 126,160 0 1,543 0 1.2% 100,365 79.6% 24,252
Venezuela 124,525 0 1,159 0 0.9% 116,785 93.8% 6,581
Bosnia 120,864 0 4,643 0 3.8% 93,657 77.5% 22,564
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 116,064 0 1,802 0 1.6% 95,406 82.2% 18,856
Algeria 106,359 0 2,877 0 2.7% 72,538 68.2% 30,944
Bahrain 101,116 0 371 0 0.4% 97,337 96.3% 3,408
Kenya 100,323 0 1,751 0 1.7% 83,691 83.4% 14,881
Macedonia 91,555 0 2,821 0 3.1% 80,008 87.4% 8,726
China 89,326 54 4,636 0 5.2% 82,870 92.8% 1,820
Kyrgyzstan 84,175 0 1,405 0 1.7% 80,330 95.4% 2,440
Uzbekistan 78,510 0 621 0 0.8% 76,997 98.1% 892
S. Korea 76,926 497 1,386 8 1.8% 66,016 85.8% 9,524
Albania 74,567 0 1,339 0 1.8% 45,383 60.9% 27,845
Latvia 63,027 0 1,138 0 1.8% 51,123 81.1% 10,766
Ghana 62,751 0 377 0 0.6% 58,561 93.3% 3,813
Norway 61,961 0 556 0 0.9% 53,299 86% 8,106
Sri Lanka 60,694 0 290 0 0.5% 52,566 86.6% 7,838
Montenegro 59,825 0 783 0 1.3% 51,387 85.9% 7,655
Singapore 59,391 0 29 0 0% 59,104 99.5% 258
Afghanistan 54,891 0 2,397 0 4.4% 47,549 86.6% 4,945
El Salvador 53,989 0 1,589 0 2.9% 47,643 88.2% 4,757
Luxembourg 50,089 0 571 0 1.1% 47,302 94.4% 2,216
Zambia 48,911 0 688 0 1.4% 41,282 84.4% 6,941
Finland 43,616 0 660 0 1.5% 31,000 71.1% 11,956
Estonia 41,966 0 398 0 0.9% 31,695 75.5% 9,873
Uruguay 39,328 0 407 0 1% 31,598 80.3% 7,323
Uganda 39,314 0 318 0 0.8% 14,114 35.9% 24,882
Mozambique 34,926 0 336 0 1% 22,494 64.4% 12,096
Namibia 33,265 0 332 0 1% 31,210 93.8% 1,723
Zimbabwe 32,304 0 1,122 0 3.5% 23,687 73.3% 7,495
Cyprus 30,380 0 193 0 0.6% 2,057 6.8% 28,130
Cameroon 29,617 0 462 0 1.6% 28,045 94.7% 1,110
Australia 28,793 8 909 0 3.2% 26,029 90.4% 1,855
Côte d'Ivoire 27,455 0 151 0 0.5% 25,388 92.5% 1,916
Sudan 26,671 0 1,760 0 6.6% 20,936 78.5% 3,975
Senegal 25,407 0 601 0 2.4% 21,125 83.1% 3,681
Cuba 23,439 0 204 0 0.9% 18,325 78.2% 4,910
DRC 22,178 0 661 0 3% 14,968 67.5% 6,549
Malawi 21,660 0 555 0 2.6% 7,249 33.5% 13,856
Botswana 20,658 0 124 0 0.6% 16,794 81.3% 3,740
Angola 19,580 0 462 0 2.4% 17,602 89.9% 1,516
Madagascar 18,743 0 279 0 1.5% 17,930 95.7% 534
French Polynesia 17,996 0 131 0 0.7% 4,842 26.9% 13,023
Malta 17,192 0 258 0 1.5% 14,252 82.9% 2,682
Mauritania 16,506 0 419 0 2.5% 15,491 93.9% 596
French Guiana 15,857 0 76 0 0.5% 9,995 63% 5,786
Thailand 15,465 0 76 0 0.5% 11,054 71.5% 4,335
Maldives 15,390 0 51 0 0.3% 13,966 90.7% 1,373
Jamaica 15,241 0 342 0 2.2% 11,942 78.4% 2,957
Swaziland 15,051 0 522 0 3.5% 9,700 64.4% 4,829
Guinea 14,435 0 82 0 0.6% 13,946 96.6% 407
Rwanda 14,166 0 183 0 1.3% 9,042 63.8% 4,941
Syrian Arab Republic 13,823 0 900 0 6.5% 7,260 52.5% 5,663
Cabo Verde 13,722 0 129 0 0.9% 12,908 94.1% 685
Tajikistan 13,308 0 90 0 0.7% 13,218 99.3% 0
Belize 11,816 0 294 0 2.5% 11,236 95.1% 286
Haiti 11,331 0 243 0 2.1% 9,010 79.5% 2,078
Gabon 10,536 0 68 0 0.6% 10,122 96.1% 346
Hong Kong 10,283 0 175 0 1.7% 9,162 89.1% 946
Burkina Faso 10,217 0 120 0 1.2% 8,759 85.7% 1,338
Réunion 9,904 0 45 0 0.5% 9,261 93.5% 598
Andorra 9,716 0 98 0 1% 8,851 91.1% 767
Guadeloupe 9,097 0 154 0 1.7% 2,242 24.6% 6,701
Suriname 8,243 0 152 0 1.8% 7,433 90.2% 658
Bahamas 8,161 0 175 0 2.1% 6,754 82.8% 1,232
Lesotho 8,047 0 146 0 1.8% 2,398 29.8% 5,503
Mali 8,037 0 327 0 4.1% 5,870 73% 1,840
Congo 7,887 0 117 0 1.5% 5,846 74.1% 1,924
Mayotte 7,884 0 60 0 0.8% 2,964 37.6% 4,860
Trinidad and Tobago 7,509 0 134 0 1.8% 7,077 94.2% 298
Guyana 7,380 0 174 0 2.4% 6,488 87.9% 718
Aruba 6,809 0 58 0 0.9% 6,378 93.7% 373
Martinique 6,402 0 45 0 0.7% 98 1.5% 6,259
Nicaragua 6,253 0 169 0 2.7% 4,225 67.6% 1,859
Iceland 6,000 0 29 0 0.5% 5,915 98.6% 56
Djibouti 5,926 0 62 0 1% 5,844 98.6% 20
Equatorial Guinea 5,492 0 86 0 1.6% 5,268 95.9% 138
Central African Republic 4,980 0 63 0 1.3% 4,885 98.1% 32
Togo 4,870 0 76 0 1.6% 4,092 84% 702
Somalia 4,754 0 130 0 2.7% 3,666 77.1% 958
Curaçao 4,567 0 20 0 0.4% 4,466 97.8% 81
Niger 4,433 0 153 0 3.5% 3,583 80.8% 697
Gibraltar 4,057 0 70 0 1.7% 3,462 85.3% 525
Gambia 4,019 0 128 0 3.2% 3,780 94.1% 111
South Sudan 3,788 0 64 0 1.7% 3,542 93.5% 182
Benin 3,786 0 48 0 1.3% 3,317 87.6% 421
Channel Islands 3,525 0 79 0 2.2% 3,227 91.5% 219
Chad 3,269 0 117 0 3.6% 2,335 71.4% 817
Sierra Leone 3,236 0 77 0 2.4% 2,237 69.1% 922
San Marino 2,941 0 65 0 2.2% 2,675 91% 201
Guinea-Bissau 2,532 0 45 0 1.8% 2,421 95.6% 66
Comoros 2,492 0 81 0 3.3% 1,496 60% 915
Liechtenstein 2,458 0 52 0 2.1% 2,328 94.7% 78
New Zealand 2,299 4 25 0 1.1% 2,205 95.9% 69
Yemen 2,120 0 615 0 29% 1,425 67.2% 80
Eritrea 2,085 0 7 0 0.3% 1,549 74.3% 529
Liberia 1,936 0 84 0 4.3% 1,757 90.8% 95
Sint Maarten 1,807 0 27 0 1.5% 1,625 89.9% 155
Mongolia 1,667 0 2 0 0.1% 1,236 74.1% 429
Vietnam 1,551 0 35 0 2.3% 1,430 92.2% 86
Burundi 1,542 0 2 0 0.1% 773 50.1% 767
Barbados 1,443 0 11 0 0.8% 1,079 74.8% 353
Monaco 1,413 0 10 0 0.7% 1,180 83.5% 223
Turks and Caicos Islands 1,312 0 8 0 0.6% 1,020 77.7% 284
Sao Tome and Principe 1,221 0 17 0 1.4% 1,007 82.5% 197
Saint Martin 1,146 0 12 0 1% 1,006 87.8% 128
Seychelles 1,129 0 3 0 0.3% 801 70.9% 325
Saint Lucia 969 0 13 0 1.3% 493 50.9% 463
Taiwan 893 0 7 0 0.8% 803 89.9% 83
Bhutan 856 0 1 0 0.1% 764 89.3% 91
Papua New Guinea 851 0 9 0 1.1% 812 95.4% 30
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 798 0 2 0 0.3% 165 20.7% 631
Diamond Princess 712 0 13 0 1.8% 699 98.2% 0
Bermuda 689 0 12 0 1.7% 648 94% 29
Faroe Islands 654 0 1 0 0.2% 645 98.6% 8
Mauritius 569 0 10 0 1.8% 528 92.8% 31
Tanzania 509 0 21 0 4.1% 183 36% 305
Cambodia 460 0 0 0 0% 423 92% 37
Isle of Man 432 0 25 0 5.8% 377 87.3% 30
Cayman Islands 384 0 2 0 0.5% 356 92.7% 26
Caribbean Netherlands 360 0 3 0 0.8% 244 67.8% 113
St. Barth 300 0 1 0 0.3% 204 68% 95
Antigua and Barbuda 215 0 6 0 2.8% 174 80.9% 35
Brunei 176 0 3 0 1.7% 169 96% 4
Grenada 148 0 1 0 0.7% 135 91.2% 12
British Virgin Islands 114 0 1 0 0.9% 95 83.3% 18
Dominica 113 0 0 0 0% 105 92.9% 8
Timor-Leste 68 0 0 0 0% 54 79.4% 14
Fiji 55 0 2 0 3.6% 53 96.4% 0
Macao 47 0 0 0 0% 46 97.9% 1
Lao People's Democratic Republic 44 0 0 0 0% 41 93.2% 3
New Caledonia 44 0 0 0 0% 43 97.7% 1
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 41 0 0 0 0% 34 82.9% 7
Saint Kitts and Nevis 37 0 0 0 0% 35 94.6% 2
Greenland 30 0 0 0 0% 30 100% 0
Holy See (Vatican City State) 27 0 0 0 0% 15 55.6% 12
Saint Pierre Miquelon 23 0 0 0 0% 16 69.6% 7
Solomon Islands 17 0 0 0 0% 10 58.8% 7
Anguilla 16 0 0 0 0% 15 93.8% 1
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% 7 77.8% 0
Wallis and Futuna 5 0 0 0 0% 4 80% 1
Marshall Islands 4 0 0 0 0% 4 100% 0
Samoa 2 0 0 0 0% 2 100% 0
Micronesia 1 0 0 0 0% - 0% 1
Vanuatu 1 0 0 0 0% 1 100% 0


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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