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Learning from the Pandemic

Posted by Dr. Spektor on Apr 8, 2020

The clinicians of BMA are currently working hard to provide ongoing services to the injured workers that we serve. We see this as another avenue to provide support and tools to help this vulnerable population that faces additional challenges that come with COVID-19 public health crisis.

I chose to focus this blog on what I have learned from the pandemic. Instead of focusing on the negatives and challenges of this pandemic, which are plentiful, I want to focus on what I have learned from my experience and from my patients over the last several weeks. I also want to offer some recommendations to help cope and even enjoy this interesting time in history. So here goes: 

The news is mostly bad news
As much as we all want to know what is going on and get a sense of when this health crisis will be over, we are not doing ourselves any favors by constantly tuning into the news which is constantly showing how things are getting worse. The constant exposure to this “bad news” is exacerbating anxiety, stress, and paranoia.

Strategy: Schedule 1-2 times a day when you tune into the news and keep it to a short time limit that feels comfortable to you but is no more than 5-10 minutes. Try to stick to this.
Positive content: There has been more content on TV and internet made available due to the current health crisis. Finds funny shows, motivational/spiritual content, movies, and relaxation programs that you enjoy and that help you find peace and calm.
Humorous content: There is also plenty of humorous content to bring some levity to life. Youtube.com is a fabulous resource for this.

Social distancing, not social isolation
In the current world that we live in we now must maintain our distance from people outside of those who live with us. This does not mean that we should not be interacting with people in other ways.

Strategy: Thankfully, there is technology that allows for phone calls and video chats readily available. Make use of it and talk/see your friends and family. Participate in prayer meetings, classes and other events via technology.
Common apps/platforms: FaceTime, WhatsApp, Duo, Zoom, Skype.

Routine & activities
It is so important to maintain a routine now more than ever. Identify things to do and actually do at least one of them every day. Some activities that are recommended:

Exercise: Be it 5 minutes or an hour, this will help with mood and function. Always follow your physician’s instructions regarding what exercises are allowed.
Hobbies: Now is a great time to pull out various hobbies you used to enjoy. This can be coloring, knitting, crochet, learning a new language, etc.

Elina Spektor, Ph.D.

 

 

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