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Covid-19: How to deal with big changes in your life

Covid-19 has changed the way we live in a large way; it is a life change.  Our leaders have instituted social distancing and asked us to stay in our homes and be "alone together."  Our leaders decisions and the anxiety of acquiring the Covid-19 virus affects each person differently.  As we hear of more cases, some parents may become stressed.  Young children may not understand what is happening, but they could be feeding off their parent's fear and anxiety, causing them anxiety.  Some young adults feel that they are safe and will; not be affected or have a mild case, so they are not adhering to social distancing; they may not want to confine themselves to a house or be alone.  Many of the elderly complain about these young adults and how they are only thinking about themselves and not taking into account that their actions could harm or kill the elderly and the young that they come in contact with. 


Isolation from being in our homes can lead to depression.  People with mental disorders and cognitive problems may feel the effects of isolation more.  It is important to maintain your mental health.  A good way to maintain your mental health is to engage in physical activities around the house.  There are many types of calisthenics that you can do; such as, sit ups and push ups to name two.  For more ideas, you can look for calisthenics on YouTube or Google.  Going for a walk in the park or areas where there are few people could be beneficial.  Walking on trails in the woods has shown to lower stress.  The important thing is to maintain social distancing; this is staying a distance of six feet or more from other people.  Diet can be helpful as well.  When we are under stress, some people tend to eat more and eat unhealthy foods.  Maintaining a healthy diet of anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce stress.  You can Google anti-inflammatory foods to get a list and even some recipes.  When we experience stress, our sleep is compromised.  Many people think that of a good night's sleep as how long they slept for, but it is really about the quality of sleep.  Setting a time to go to sleep and time to wake up are important to helping with sleep quality.  Screen time, which includes TV, games, computers, and phones should not be used two hours before bedtime.  Engaging in mindfulness techniques such as meditation, is another way to reduce anxiety and fear.  You can find guided mindfulness techniques on YouTube.  Another great resource from American psychologist Tara Brach "Facing a Pandemic with Radical Compassion." 


Reduce anxiety by reducing risk:


Reduce risk for Covid-19 by staying at least six feet away from people.  Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time and wash your hands often.  Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, inside elbow, or shirt when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands afterwards.  Try not to touch your face before you wash your hands.  If you feel sick, stay at home.  To learn more visit the CDC website:


https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fprevention.html


If you need to talk to a professional, you can call the NYS Emotional Support Helpline 7 days a week, 8am-10pm at 1-844-863-9314. 

Please feel free to contact me!