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Things You Can Do to Support Yourself and Your Family During COVID-19

Sandra Shahrokh and Cynthia Della Ripa, LMFT

The past few weeks have placed an intense amount of stress, fear, and anxiety on families and communities around the world regarding the latest developments of COVID-19. Here are some tips in navigating through the challenges that come with this pandemic.

Practice Mindfulness

Two years ago, Destinations for Teens implemented a 10 at 10 client and staff meditation experience to take a break from the day to day stresses and anxieties. Now more than ever, we see the importance of having a meditation or mindfulness practice. Find a place to be present with something in your environment. Whether it’s focusing on your breathing or a mantra through meditation, engaging in a task with 100 percent focus and attention or sitting outside and noticing the sights and listening to sounds around you.

Stick to Your Routine As Much As Possible

It’s easy to become glued to the news or social media and move away from the day to day routines.  You may not be able to leave your house very much, but you can still do your yoga practice, dance class, or workout online or on your own.  Keep up with daily chores as usual and connect with your social circle via phone or video.  More people are transitioning their social activities to online when possible—schedule coffee, lunch, and dinner dates with your family, friends, and your community. Facetime, zoom, google hangouts are all great services to stay connected virtually. Technology can be a great thing in a situation where isolation is recommended. When you do check social media or the news, set a timer for 10-15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, walk away.

Add to Your Routine

You can replace the time you usually spend commuting and making lunches doing something else.  Pick a home project to start or finish. Start cooking daily or add some things you may have felt like you never had time for like yoga, meditation, and exercise. Take a free yoga, stretching, and/or dance class on Youtube. Here’s a 20-minute yoga flow to allow you to connect with your breath and calm your mind. Keeping a daily gratitude journal can be a great thing to add to your routine to remind ourselves of what we do have in our lives and for what we can be grateful.

Support Yourself and Your Family During COVID-19

The latest news can make us feel unmotivated and unwilling to do much else, except feed into our anxieties by giving up our day to day activities and contribute to feelings of hopelessness. As much as it is important to keep up to date to with what’s going on in the world, it is equally important not to lose hope and give up on what we have worked hard to achieve. Keep up your routine as much as possible, and find some balance between watching the news and paying attention to your personal life and what’s around you now.