President and CEO of Best Self Behavioral Health Elizabeth Woike-Ganga, LCSW-R says the pandemic and wondering when it is going to end has been difficult for everyone. It is a natural human reaction to be having distress about what has been going on the past ten months; to feel isolated and anxious and a little bit down. All of those are normal responses to a very abnormal event.
We can’t change the pandemic, but we can change how we react to it and how we structure our days and our time. One of her first tips would be to make sure you structure your days; work starts and work ends. She says have a routine, a schedule and structure because it is so easy when you are working from home to have work time blend into personal time, blend into sleeping time and you really don’t have those specific times when you take care of yourself. So, make sure you stop work, have your meal, do your exercise, turn off the electronics at a reasonable time so you can wind down and get to sleep.
Try to do things you enjoy that are good coping for you in the past. For example, she says that could be exercise, or trying a new exercise, mediation, something calming.
Structure social interaction time. Call or schedule those Zooms with your friends and family, so you aren’t isolating too much.
Elizabeth Woike-Ganga says the responses we are all having is normal but if you start experiencing things that are beyond the norm, for you example, not being able to sleep, significant changes in your appetite, depression or anxiety all day, most days, trouble getting out of bed or really over indulging in alcohol or drugs that really starts to interfere with your regular daily functioning whether it is work or taking care of the family or whatever it is or if you find yourself isolating significantly from others then that is the time to think about reaching out for help.
If there are any kinds of suicidal or self-harming type thoughts or behavior; that is the time for an immediate crisis intervention.
She says Help is there, it is available and it is easy and we all need it.