A Message from Sandy Wilda LPC from Footsteps Counseling Center…
We are now over one month into this global pandemic- with uncertainty regarding when it will end. How are we doing? The ways we care for ourselves and one another have shifted during this time of “sheltering in place.”
One of the biggest challenges can be isolation- separation from people we love and depend on for relationship and community. We are created to be social creatures- to live in relationship to God and one another.
So as we find ourselves in this unplanned place, we need to pay special attention to care for our bodies and souls, to nurture ourselves and seek to meet those relational needs as best we can.
Here are some things to consider as we evaluate how we are doing:
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. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes- 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. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. Physical activity each day is so helpful- and it’s is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
4. Reach out to others, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Understandably, it’s not the same as face-to-face, in person visits- but it’s a wonderful alternative and it will help us stay connected through this time! Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily through FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!
5. Give others the benefit of the doubt, maybe some space. 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.
6. 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. 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 (consider 30 minutes max each day).
7. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others – helping others gives us a sense of connection and well-being when things seem out of control.
8. Reach out for help—we are still here for one another- it just looks different! If you have a therapist or physician, 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. Reach out to your pastors and small group communities in your life- we are all in this together and are looking to support one another!
We must remind ourselves daily that this is temporary. We must remind ourselves that although this is very 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 feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead!
Sandy Wilda, LPC
Footsteps Counseling Center
To learn more about Footsteps Counseling Center visit http://www.footstepscounseling.com/
Note: adapted from:
Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine
By: Eileen Feliciano | NYS Psychologist