*Please note, we are continuing the pause of the Weekly Wellness newsletters to best support you during this time. While we cannot help with your mangled manicure or overdue botox (true colors revealed ladies, am I right?!), we can provide a list of coping techniques to help clam your nerves.
You Drive Me Crazy
Sit your Ass Down
Hopefully you've been practicing social distancing, avoiding contact with others, and self-quarantining to do your part in flattening the curve of this rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19. Honestly, all that's asked of you is to sit on your couch while others risk their lives, so in the words of Rob Schneider in every Adam Sandler movie, "You can do it!" With that said, we know that these scary times. In addition to being concerned about our physical health, this pandemic has us on edge about our mental health as well. We held a virtual therapy session with Jayne Miller, PsyD. to discuss some helpful coping techniques during these stressful times.
My Name's Anxiety, What's Your Name?
These are uncharted times. And what's even more unprecedented, perhaps, is that due to social distancing, we're being forced to cope with all of this alone. It seems like "I have anxiety," is about as common to hear nowadays as "hey" and rightfully so. But when we say we're anxious, what do we REALLY mean? "Anxiety" can be an all-encompassing umbrella for all different types of feelings like fearful, worrisome, helpless, stressed, and so many more. Although uncomfortable, it's helpful to lean into that feeling that you may otherwise label as anxiety, and try to identify it. By properly labeling these emotions, you can begin to implement more effective coping techniques. Ok, I'm listening....Let's say, "I'm anxious," is really your way of saying, "I feel out of control." With this newfound understanding, you can implement an effective coping technique. Ty combating this sense of being out of control by listing things that are currently in your control, to calm the mind. Without this labeling process you cannot begin to self-soothe.
Feeling All the Feels
Another hugely powerful coping technique is to simply replace the word "but" with "and" when expressing your emotions. "It's been really difficult working remotely but I know how lucky I am right now to have my job and be able to WFH." Sounds fine right? You've clearly got some perspective on the situation, so what's the problem? Think of this coping technique as the Grammar Police reporting for duty. It IS challenging adjusting to a new lifestyle that includes conference calls from the couch, trying to focus despite the latest news from Anthony Fauci on the mind, and an endless IG feed of COVID memes. That is 100% legitimate. However, using "but" in the sentence, basically says you can't feel this way, while also having perspective. We're calling B.S. Let's give credit where credit's due. We are emotionally intelligent people (for the most part lol). We can experience more than one emotion simultaneously. Ditch this either/or mentality in favor of "and" statements to acknowledge everything you might be feeling. "It's been really difficult working remotely AND I feel incredibly fortunate to still have a job and be able to WFH." Putting this into practice will help you sift through all of your very real emotions.
Hey, Hey, Hey, Just Walk Away
Permission to be awkward and rude? Just as polarizing as a political debate, people's coping strategies during times of crisis may be on opposite ends of the spectrum. Deep breaths. Everyone is just doing their best, and hopefully, everyone is doing what works for them. But what works for them, may not work for you, and that's cool too! We can't stress this enough - the most important thing to do for yourself right now, is to tune into your needs and honor them. You should feel empowered to respectfully excuse yourself from a situation that is not conducive to your emotional wellbeing or general mental health. If someone's negativity about what the future may bring, or the blaring of CNN in your living room has your chest tightening, remind yourself that you are allowed to remove yourself from the situation.
All by Myselffffff
It's important to remember that social distancing and social isolation are very different things. Even if you're physically alone, it's 2020! While this might be the shittiest year of all time and we're just here waiting for 2021, how lucky are we that this pandemic is happening in the age of FaceTime, Zoom, and a slew of other technologies that can help us feel more connected. If you've got the quarantine-blues, try picking up your phone or laptop and connecting with an old friend. This can be valuable time to catch up with loved ones that you may not have taken otherwise. Say hi to friend's, co-worker's, roommate's, best friend for us!
Just Trying to Help
We get it. you're trying to be a good friend, family member, remote co-worker, etc. and provide comfort to someone in need. So you might say something like, "Don't worry!" or "Don't be scared!" What's the problem? That's a dismissive statement taking away legitimacy from their feelings. TBH they have every reason to be worried or scared RN. We know you're a good person though with good intentions. Instead try, "I understand. Do you want to talk?" or "I'm here for you." And hey guys, "We understand. We're here for you!"
Can't Control Yourself Any Longer
If you're still in need of some stress management ideas, we've listed a few below, but mostly, and we can't emphasize this enough, LISTEN TO YOURSELF. Ultimately, this difficult time can only be made better if you're able to internalize what you're feeling and tune into what you really need. Don't feel pressured by productivity challenges on Instagram, Tik Tok dances, your mom, or anyone else, saying that you should take advantage of this time to do "X." If it doesn't feel like a good time to attack the cluttered closet, you have our permission to sit that out! Here are some things that may help, but again, get a pulse on what feels best for you:
- Movement (yoga, pilates, dance)
- Take a Walk
- Listen to Music
- Enjoy a TV show or Movie