Coronavirus is ever-present, a cloud hovering over all of us, and the damage it’s done to our collective mental health is profound. The headline of a just released report from the American Psychological Association (APA) points to that fact and reads: “U.S. Adults Report Highest Stress Level Since Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
- Give yourself permission to take a break from the news, social media or even certain friends. Constantly exposing ourselves to negative information, images and rhetoric maintains our stress at unhealthy levels.
- Practice the rule of “three good things” and ask friends and family to do the same. The rule states that at the end of each day, reflect on three good things that happened — large or small. This helps decrease anxiety, counter depression and build emotional resiliency.
- Practice self-care in 15- or 30-minute increments throughout the day. This can include taking a short walk, calling a friend or watching a funny show. Parents should encourage or help their children to do the same.
- Stay connected with friends and family. This helps build emotional resiliency so you can support one another.
- Keep things in perspective. Try to reframe your thinking to reduce negative interpretations of day-to-day experiences and events.