Because there are no real precedents for our current situation, there are no easy answers. We each have unique backgrounds and current circumstances that will ultimately determine how we respond to the challenges we now face. What helps one person handle stressful times, might look different to the next. Below are general concepts and strategies recommended by Dr. Ellen Feldman, Psychiatrist at Altru that may help people cope when faced with trauma.
Self-awareness: Examine, acknowledge, and accept your own feelings. This is a scary time for all of us and recognizing the fear helps keep it from driving our actions. Try to turn it in a constructive direction (for example, washing hands more often).
Support: It is ironic that we need to maintain physical distance for safety at a time when we clearly need the support of others. Think about ways to reach out or connect within the constraints of public health safety. After you think about it, do it!
Structure: Most likely your schedule has changed (for many of us, quite abruptly). Within the new normal, create and maintain some structure including bedtime, waketime and mealtime.
Sleep: Good sleep, healthy eating and exercise all help our immune system.
How do I know if I (or a family member) need something more to help me? If functioning deteriorates rather than stabilizes or improves, give your provider or Altru’s Behavioral Health a call at 701.780.6697 to discuss if a visit is needed.
For additional information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.