Coping techniques for emotions
April 10, 2020
Looking for help with your emotions in these unusual times?
“For one, we can make choices about our behavior,” says Lynnea Lindsey, Ph.D., director of Legacy Behavioral Health Services. “How we are managing our sleep, our exercise, our nutrition. These things can bolster us fundamentally, helping us cope.”
Other coping techniques:
Notice the good things
To negate feelings of fear, Dr. Lindsey suggests thinking about or writing down good things in your life: spending more time in the garden, enjoying a new piece of clothing or doing anything you enjoy. “It’s good to gain perspective to diminish the reactions that come from fear,” she says.
Work on connections
Just because we are social distancing, says Lori Eckel, a clinical social worker with Legacy Health, doesn’t mean we are disconnecting. Eckel says to continue to stay connected through telephone calls, video chats or talking to your neighbor at a safe distance. Dr. Lindsey adds that it is key to stay connected with friends, family and co-workers. “Those relationships are important,” she says. “They empower us to do what we have to do every day.”
Talk to someone
If you are concerned about depression, “The best thing you can do is talk to somebody, whether a peer or a professional,” Eckel says. She notes there are many ways to address depression: mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, medication and more. “Working with a professional can help us understand which of those choices might be best,” she says.
In stressful times, Dr. Lindsey advises to stay present by being aware of your body. “Take deep breaths, make sure your feet on the floor,” she says. “Smell things and touch things to stay grounded and present,” which allows you to think and act more clearly through the stress.
If you are experiencing grief, Dr. Lindsey says to “seek solace in faith and spiritual practices, believe there will be another day, but journey through the grief and allow yourself to cry. It’s OK to be angry and allow yourself to shut down and not be present.”
Work together with grace
This a difficult time for our community. Dr. Lindsey says working together with understanding offers our best chance. “You need flexibility, elasticity and grace with one another,” she says. “We have to believe that each other has the best intentions at heart. And, together, we can get through the tough times.”
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Media inquiries: Vicki Guinn