Coping Through the Continuing COVID-19 Pandemic
Written by: Raquel Martinez, MSW
This year has been a year where the mental health of many has been challenged. For many of us, our usual coping mechanisms we use to maintain a healthy mind set has been taken from us abruptly. Leaving many feeling isolated with the fear and loneliness a pandemic brings. I, for one, have been amazed at how resilient people can be when times are tough. I have observed many using nature to find the peace of mind we all so desperately need during times of chaos. Hiking trails have become the “go to” for a population under lockdown. Neighborhoods have seen an increase of people going out for walks. I have also engaged in outdoor activities to help with maintaining a healthy and positive mindset during this time.
However, with a new closure looming ahead, I find myself falling into a feeling of sadness and anxious anticipation. I somehow believe that the hope of getting closer to the lockdown ending was helping me to keep moving forward but now that new closures and restrictions are being enforced again; I question if a second lockdown will be more difficult to experience. Being aware of my own challenges during this pandemic has allowed me to connect with my clients and provide support and validation that together we will survive this time of our lives.
A Few tips to remember:
· Try a wellness app (meditation, mindfulness).
· Be in the NOW. (when our minds wander and fear sets in, return to the present).
· Practice positive self-talk. “This is temporary.” Acknowledge that while we are in limbo, it will not go on forever. “You will adjust, you will heal, and we will recover.”
· Embrace positive distractions: binge a TV show, listen to music, flip through a magazine.
· Don’t become a media junkie. It fuels the anxiety with no benefit. Turn it off!
· Connect with others through technology. Call, text, use FaceTime!
· Take breaks throughout the day.
Written By: Raquel Martinez, MSW, Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker 91884 under the supervision of Nancy Ruiz-Barnes, MSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 79552