The outbreak of the coronavirus may be stressful for many. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19, your finances, caring for your loved one and social distancing can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Laura Rhodes-Levin, a licensed therapist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma, offers some helpful practices we can do at home to cope with stress and anxiety.
First she suggests spending time with family by cooking or gardening. “Distract yourself with cooking. Don’t go for perfection,” Rhodes-Levin says. “This is a time to get creative and find joy in the moment.”
Next, she encourages adults and kids to exercise and stay active: “Have fun with chores.”
Rhodes-Levin says to tap into your senses and listen to music. “Using your five senses is the best way to quiet your mind.”
Bond with your family by watching your favorite movies and TV shows. “This is a good time to reinforce the family unit,” she says. “Laugh together … even cry together.”
Next, she suggests fixing things around the house you’ve been putting off for some time. “Get things done. Get things off that to-do list.”
Did you know that writing brings up positive endorphins? Therapist Rhodes-Levin says take time to write something that’s “meaningful and loving” in a journal.
She assures us it’s normal to feel anxious right now. “Be careful but don’t be fearful.”
For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, please reference the CDC (www.cdc.gov) and WHO’s (www.who.int) resource guides.