Many of us are finding the shift to our new social distant lifestyle to be troublesome for our mental health. Yet how do we use our coping skills if they are no longer accessible? Gyms are closed, brunches are canceled, and camping is prohibited. Many of the outlets we leaned on for relief or communities we relied on for support are no longer accessible. Many of us lean towards social settings or communities as a means for a coping skill and without having those options anymore there is a sense of panic or overwhelm as we are left stuck sitting with all the emotions this pandemic has stirred up without having any positive escape from it.
Below are some new ideas for coping skills that are accessible in the home and that can be done solely or with others:
- Begin a garden.
- Spend time in the SUN!
- Get your fix-it energy out by stimulating your brain with puzzles or games.
- Work on projects as a family; something new and creative (e.g. try a new recipe, make a birdhouse).
- Set clear boundaries when working from home to set consistency and flow.
- Be sure to find time to spend on your own, time away from family to decompress.
- Spend time in meditation; remember this comes in many forms (e.g. walking, dancing, art, even cooking).
With the new challenges we are facing with the pandemic we can see how the effects of the trauma are coming out in our community. It is important now more than ever to take time to reflect on the emotions felt and create space and time to sit with the feelings that arise. Remember that no emotion is a bad emotion, it may be a hard one to sit with, but it is important to remember that dealing with all emotions that may arise is imperative. All emotions are important emotions and we need to validate and respect each that surface.
Natasha Griffin is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Trainee. She is supervised by Danielle Fitch, LMFT #94672.