Five Days of Wellness: Day One
Best Practices for Self-Care During Times of Uncertainty
Dr. Gary Seale, Regional Director of Clinical Services for CNS, along with experts at the American Psychological Association, Forbes, and the Harvard Business Review, suggest some simple but effective strategies to manage stress and remain emotionally healthy during this time of uncertainty.
Start by differentiating between what is within your control vs. what is not in your control.
Stay focused on the things you can do. Make a list and practice these regularly and reward yourself for these practices.
Do things that help you feel safe.
- Practice "social distancing" and limit exposure to groups of 10 or more people.
- Give an "elbow bump" vs. a hug or a handshake.
Rather than worrying about something that might happen in the future, stay focused on the present; maintain a proper perspective.
- Focus on the task at hand.
- If you feel yourself "borrowing trouble," bring yourself back to the present moment.
- Put the situation into proper perspective: This situation is temporary. As with other pandemics (MARS, SARS, H1N1, Zika, etc.) this too shall pass.
Engage in proven Positive Psychology practices.
- Start a gratitude list. Of all the positive emotions, gratitude is one of the most powerful and protective (from depressive symptoms). Start a list of all you are grateful for, large and small.
- Downward comparisons. Rather than thinking or saying to yourself, "I wish I…..", think or say to yourself, "I'm glad I……" For example, "I'm glad I work in the healthcare industry. I have a stable job, and in my work, I help others."
Engage in Resilience practices
- Think about a time when you faced a challenging situation and overcame it.
- In your home or office, post some inspirational quotes, for example: "Never, never, never give up" – Winston Churchill; "Failure is not an option" – Gene Kranz.
- Create a "resilience library" with inspirational books and videos. For example, the book, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, or the movie, "Remember the Titans."