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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coping and Staying Calm During the COVID-19 Crisis

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has been unprecendented in terms of the human health toll it has had as well as the emotional strain it has placed on nearly everyone.  Learning to cope and stay calm during this extraordinary time is essential.

Coping and Staying Calm During the COVID-19 Crisis

Aside from the reliable health tips that are being recommended by medical professionals, here are some helpful tips for coping and staying calm.

Tips For Coping and Staying Calm During the Current Crisis:
  • Set Up a Routine for Yourself During this Health Emergency: As much as possible, try to set up a daily routine for yourself.  It's easy to fall into the habit of staying in bed all day in your pajamas watching the news or other TV programs.  Rather than falling into habits that will only make you feel more anxious, have a routine for waking up, doing indoor exercise that is appropriate for you, and accomplishing tasks that you need to complete.
  • Take Breaks From Watching or Reading the News: While it's important to remain informed, you will only make yourself that much more anxious if you spend most of the day watching or reading about the news.  Take regular breaks. Get up, stretch, call a friend or engage in an unrelated calming activity.
  • Connect With Others: It's easy to feel isolated and lonely when you're unable to see friends, family and other loved ones in person.  Make an effort to connect over the phone or online with loved ones.  Even connecting a few minutes for mutual support can make a big difference in how you feel.  Check in regularly with your loved ones.  Even those who are physically well can feel lonely (see my article: Solitude vs Feeling Lonely).
Connect With Friends, Family and Loved Ones
  • Take Time to Unwind and De-Stress:  Whether you do a simple breathing exercise or close your eyes and remember a time and place where you felt relaxed, taking the time to unwind and manage your stress is important (see my article: Self Soothing Techniques to Use to Calm Yourself).
  • Get Enough Sleep and Eat Nutriously: Getting 7-8 hours sleep, taking naps during the day as needed, and eating nutritious meals is important for maintaining good health.  To get a restful sleep, avoid watching or reading the news before you go to sleep.  Instead, develop a calming wind down routine at least a half hour before you plan to go to sleep.
  • Keep Things in Perspective: Recognize that this crisis will inevitably come to an end at some point.  

Getting Help in Therapy
Many psychotherapists are doing phone and online sessions for clients during this time when they cannot see clients in person.

If you find your anxiety becoming unmanageable, you can seek help from a psychotherapist in your area--even if it's on a temporary basis to get you through this difficult time.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individuals and couples.

Since the COVID-19 crisis, I have been providing telephone and online sessions for clients who live in New York State.

Some sliding scale or reduced fees are available for new clients based on availability at the time you contact me, your household income and whether you will receive a reimbursement from out of network insurance.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.