Telehealth Services in Alexandria, VA
As I work with my patients during this health crisis using a tele-health platform, I am finding that there are some common challenges connected with sheltering-in-place. Depression, anxiety and time disorientation are phenomenon that my patients are reporting to me. Isolation and depression have clearly been linked by research and by way of clinical practice. So it isn't surprising to find that quarantining (isolating) is getting many of us down.. That said, there are things we can do and should be doing to to mitigate these unwanted psychological and emotional states.
Structure and routine: It's important to maintain a routine and give structure to one's day. Try and turn-in at the same time and wake-up the same time as well. These are unpredictable times. So much uncertainty about the future. So much out of our control. Establishing routine and structure allows us to maintain a sense of predictability and normalcy in a very upside down world. Up at 7. Shower. Breakfast at 8. Get on that laptop at 9. Lunch at noon. A walk at 1. Back on the laptop at 1:30. Dinner at 6. Free time from 7 to 9 (call a friend, exercise, paint, sing, watch your favorite TV show, a little "waka-waka" with your person). A bath or shower before turning in at 10. Rinse, wash, repeat Monday through Friday. Weekends play time, clean your space time, be a slug time).
Diet: Continue to maintain a healthy diet. Three squares a day or maintain that intermittent fasting you've committed yourself to. Snack healthy. Keep up your water intake. Keep hydrated. Cook joyfully and thankfully. Eat slowly. Clean-up mindfully.
Exercise: If you've established an exercise routine maintain it. If you haven't why not start now. Indoor or outdoor. Bike. Run. Blade. Walk. Yoga. Pilates. Tai-chi. Push ups/crunches/pull-ups. Get the blood pumping. Endorphins circulating. Oxygenate your brain, organs. Strengthen your muscles. Lift your mood. Sleep better. Think more clearly. FEEL BETTER.
Human interaction: Reach out to a friend, a loved one. FaceTime, video-chat or just talk on the phone. Walk with a friend practicing good social-distancing. Meet friends in your backyard (if your fortunate to have one) or the park. Pull-out that folding chair. Maintain six feet between everyone. Create a circle of love and laughter.
Meditative practice: Mindful meditation. Yoga. Tai-chi. Silence and reflection/prayer in your spiritual or religious tradition. Bringing non-judgmental awareness to the Self. Balancing energy (chi). Connecting with your Higher Power, universal consciousness, The Force....Yoda :). What do all these have in common? They bring a sense of peace and wellness to us. Calm us. Refresh us. Maybe even help us to develop our capacity to love ourselves and others.
Laughter: Make sure to get some laugh time in. These are dark times for many. It is said that laughter is good for the soul. Keeping up with the news and current events is important but unplugging from all the noise is also necessary. Too much "bad news" can place us in a very negative frame of mind, creating fertile ground for seeds of depression and anxiety to take root and grow. Personally, I have been watching more comedy on TV (Sling TV) and listening to stand up comedy on my mobile phone (Pandora). I also subscribe to BuzzFeed news on my iPhone, which posts a lot of funny stuff. However you choose to do it is up to you. Just get a good belly laugh in one or more time a day.
If you are looking for help getting through the quarantine, feel free to give me a call at 703 348-7647.