As you know, we like to send out our weekly email in the morning. Given the current events and ripple effect it is having on our routines, I am getting this email out to you a bit later today without a review from my editor. Please forgive any grammatical/spelling mistakes I may make along the way.
I could not go into Shabbos this week without providing some assistance during this unique time. With the help of our clinical director, I have put together a few things to aid anyone who is struggling with anxiety and/or wants to understand how to assist a friend in need.
Managing Anxiety in these types of situations requires expert opinion on what to do for self-care (examples: wash hands, avoid crowds, see doctor if sick). Here are some things that you can do right now on your own.
A great place to start if you are feeling anxious, is to limit your amount of media input. This can be very tempting but also extremely triggering for anxiety. Barraging our nervous system with a non-stop news cycle about the Coronavirus is anxiety inducing and what’s more it stops us from functioning as we normally do, taking care of family, work responsibilities, etc. More than that, when we get distracted from our everyday responsibilities those environments, our home and workplace, become chaotic and more stressful.
We need to regulate our nervous systems, get ourselves from survival mode to functional mode. Below are some regulating techniques for anxiety:
- Focus on breathing. Breathing is something we can do automatically or intentionally. When we breath with intention, i.e. slower deeper breaths, mindful exhales, we can calm ourselves
- Fear makes us isolate ourselves. Call a friend and talk about everyday things. You will be helping yourself and your friend.
- Physical activity, exercise or yoga are some great ways to stay active indoors.
Parents need to reassure children that all of the grown-ups are doing what needs to be done to take care of them. Don’t be critical of the policy makers, school, Shul or authorities in front of your children.
Let’s be thoughtful of one another. We can call and even facetime those in quarantine. It’s a great idea to check on individuals who live alone. Provide comfort to your friends and family, so no one feels isolated.
And lastly, don’t underestimate the benefit of a positive attitude.
Have a good Shabbos,