How to deal with big changes in your life
Updated: May 26, 2020
These are unusual days
We have survived the last two months of social distancing. The relaxing of rules feels a long time coming. Consider what you need as an individual to feel safe and stay healthy, and take your time getting back to socializing.
Get information from clinical sites that have the professional knowledge and expertise. Follow the recommended advice from sources like www.CDC.gov, www.WHO.int, www.NIH.gov, www.MayoClinic.org, or www.hopkinsmedicine.org. Facebook is not a good source for good, reliable, and rational information.
Pay attention to what you need in the moment and do what you can to answer that need. Notice what influence you do have on your surroundings and circumstances. Ask yourself what helped, and then do it again - unless your answer involves alcohol, pot, or Xanax. You do not suffer from lack-of-substance disorder.
The combined demands of working from home, being a home teacher/day care provider, and elder care provider can absolutely be a stretch. So ask for help. Play time is learning time also. Offer some interesting books to your kids. Teach them how to do laundry. Go outside and explore the world together. Listen to your children more than you preach to them. Reward them with smiles, hugs, thanks, and appreciation and they will blossom.
Your parents might be older than you but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of knowing what they want. Respect their thoughts and needs. Continue to stay away from them physically but do offer to do shopping for them. Help them filter the information they are paying attention to so their anxiety stays as low as possible.
Don’t forget that you only have two hands. Tell your employer what you are able to manage and what you are not. The priorities have shifted for the whole world. A report not getting finished in a timely way right now will not bankrupt anyone. My own boss is nasty about getting stuff done. I ignore her. You might not be able to do so but you can certainly say No when you need to. Again, if it gets to be too much, don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll help in any way I can.
This situation has been a strain for all of us. The basics still apply. What you think about will determine what you feel. Keep your thinking grounded in the real world as much as you can. If worry or fear gets too big, don’t try to fight it. Cry, swear, shake. Then call me and we can work it out. The feelings are real even when the thinking can be a bit wonky. I am preparing now for the second wave, and decided that I will be doing online sessions for the foreseeable future. I am officially an elder and need to respect that. Be involved with other people. When you are alone negative thoughts can grow and become more difficult not to believe. Being part of a group is protective against depression and worry.