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You are not alone (during this Pandemic)! by Cynthia Silver, RMHCI

If you are feeling more stressed than ever due to COVID-19, you are not alone. Experts report that the pandemic is causing a significant rise in mental health problems. Even Olympic swim champion Michael Phelps recently reported: “This is the most overwhelmed I’ve ever felt.” It is not unusual to be experiencing a wide range of feelings such as sadness, loneliness, anger, confusion, fatigue, and hopelessness during this time of uncertainty.

Here are some tips to help manage your feelings to keep yourself mentally healthy:

· Accept your feelings. Do not label your feelings as good or bad.

· Be kind to yourself by not engaging in self-critical thoughts.

· Accept the reality of the situation by acknowledging that although stressful, there may be positive things to learn from this experience. Then, focus as much as you can on the positive.

· Create a daily journal to write about your feelings and experiences looking for patterns of thoughts and behaviors that cause distress.

· Devise a new routine. Keeping to a routine provides you with a feeling of control.

· Look for a silver lining to the situation. For example - I am using this period of isolation to reflect and get to know myself.

· Try something new such as meditation, online yoga, or a new recipe.

· Stay connected as much as possible through phone calls, social media and online get togethers such as Facetime or Zoom.

· Practice self-care by doing something every day to treat yourself like reading a book, taking a bath, or having a cup of tea.

Cindy Silver recently joined Happy Healthy Minds Counseling and specializes in treating Adults with transitional life issues, relationship issues, anxiety, depression & grief. She is currently taking new clients via telehealth.

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