By Dr. Theresa Trevethan
With the closure of many schools and businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, things are rapidly changing in households across America. Many of us are experiencing more changes daily than we are used to managing, which can create anxiety and lead to feeling overwhelmed. Here are four tips to help manage these transitions:
- Continue or develop a daily routine. Routines are comforting and can help anchor us in times of change as they let us know what to expect. If you currently have children home due to school closures, keeping a routine for them will help them know what to expect too.
- Be masterful. Do something every day that you are good at, whether that is baking, knitting, cleaning or playing cards. Doing something you are good at will help combat feelings of helplessness with your current situation.
- Visit virtually. We gain comfort in difficult situations with support from family and friends. Try setting up virtual coffee dates, time with grandparents to read books with the kids through Skype or even a virtual happy hour.
- Stay positive. Remember that this time is temporary and won’t be forever. Try to enjoy things that you like to do, and spend time with your family or partner without the usual distractions. Consider instituting family game nights, walking outside and enjoying nature- while keeping appropriate distance from others, or working on a project or hobby.
While using these tips will help manage stress related to sheltering in place, you may continue to struggle with anxiety. If these symptoms persist, reach out to your primary care provider, or make an appointment to speak with a mental health professional. At Doctor On Demand, our licensed therapists and psychiatrists are available for secure video visits 7 days a week.