If you ask me how I’m doing during this time, I’ll tell you that I’m good and I’ll mean it.
But if I take a little time to think about what’s actually going on, I’d tell you: I’m spending a lot of time scrolling through Facebook (my social media of choice) or sitting on the couch cross-stitching while listening to podcasts or watching Youtube.
One of my coping mechanisms is avoidance (scrolling Facebook).
It’s a way I procrastinate and avoid dealing with things.
While cross-stitching is probably more of a healthy coping mechanism.
What are your coping mechanisms?
If you do some honest reflection, you’ll probably notice some slight shifts in your behavior too.
This brings me to a video I watched Tuesday from John Green. You can find it here. In it, he references ten mental health tips shared by Partners In Health.
Partners In Health (PIH) is a social justice & global health organization striving to make health care a human right for all people, starting with those who need it most (from their description on Twitter).
In their article here they offer these ten mental health practices:
- Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing; use technology to connect widely;
- Clear routines and schedule, seven days a week, at home—don’t go overboard;
- Exercise and physical activity, daily if possible;
- Learning and intellectual engagement—books, reading, limited internet;
- Positive family time—working to counter negativity;
- Alone time, outside if possible, but inside too; but remember, don’t isolate;
- Focused meditation and relaxation;
- Remember the things that you really enjoy doing, that you can do in this situation, and find a way to do them;
- Limit exposure to TV and internet news; choose small windows and then find ways to cleanse yourself of it;
- Bathe daily, if possible, to reinforce the feeling of cleanliness.
John Green also shared this: “Doing things on this list IS BEING PRODUCTIVE. Taking care of myself and others is the productivity that matters most right now.”
It’s important to remember that right now.
I saw something scrolling Facebook that I can’t find now to give proper credit, but the statement was something along the lines of: “That feeling you’re feeling right now, it’s grief.”
There have been a lot of changes to our normal over the past week, and it looks like these changes will stay in place for at least another couple of weeks.
This means the goals we set, the things we planned on doing, and the experiences we anticipated are not happening or look significantly different now.
It’s natural to grieve these expectations.
Give yourself the time and space to do that.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, or like shutting down, ask yourself: Which thing on the PIH’s list can I do right now?
And if you want/need to connect with someone, please reach out to me.