Mar 27, 2020
We are collectively experiencing something that our generation has never seen. Our lives have come to a halt and nothing is "normal" anymore. While it is critical that we pursue physical health and safety, it is just as crucial to maintain good mental health. In this episode, licensed therapist and ordained priest, Janis Sharpe, shares a multitude of tips that will help us avoid depression and anxiety.
From Janis Sharpe…
Tips for staying emotionally healthy while in self quarantine:
We are living in an unprecedented time. With each update on the Corona virus most people are struggling with anxiety and some with depression. Knowing that you are going to be home alone or with family is increasing the anxiety. Feeling out of control, having your routine disrupted and being in close quarters with family can cause small irritations to seem huge! Here are a few tips that will help you stay emotionally healthy during this time.
1. Remember this is temporary- this too will pass. We don’t know how long it will be so, take each day as it comes and find ways to enjoy each day.
2. Stay in contact with family and friends- particularly by phone calls, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime. Limit texting. Texting is much more impersonal, talking on the phone or on FaceTime feels more like real connection.
3. Get up, shower and get dressed everyday. If your hair is dirty, wash it. Even if you aren’t going to see anyone, you will feel better.
4. Listen to positive music, watch positive TV shows and movies. Avoid shows, books or music that cause you to feel depressed or anxious.
5. Use relaxation apps such as Calm or Headspace to help you relax.
6. Exercise- (if you do regularly) Sure, it’s not your gym with all the equipment, but you can do pushups, sit ups, jump rope. There are so many exercise videos online.
7. Get outside for 30 minutes a day if possible without contact with others (Walking or running as long as you stay 6 feet from others). Even if you don’t exercise, go out on your porch or patio if possible.
8.Do yoga or stretching- again, you can find some online.
9. Limit social media. Yes, it is a way to connect, but has shown that it also can be very fear, anger or anxiety producing.
10. Journal- express the emotions you are feeling. I recommend an old spiral notebook so you can be real and tear out pages and throw them away.
11. Express physical touch with people you are isolated with. (Assuming they do not have C0-Vid.
12. Set daily goals- could be to clean out a closet or to bing watch a season of Friends but just making a plan can help you think more positively.
13. Go in denial in safe ways- a specific time of day that you will watch the news, then focus on something more uplifting. Take notifications off your phone that send you updates.
14. Do square breathing to lesson anxiety. Breath in to the count of four, hold your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold your breath again for four counts. Use apps, such as Calm to help you relax.
15. Use this time to focus on your spiritual life. Pray, try new types of prayer- use devotional apps online: the Daily office, Streams in the Desert, or My Utmost for His Highest. Consider meditating on a scripture a day.
Be still and know that He is God.