Darby Bonomi PhD writes this open letter to her clients and blog readers about the importance of respecting social distancing, and for some, shelter-in orders by their state government.
This is a challenging time, to say the least. I want you to know that as a mental health professional, I am here to help you in any way I can.
Clearly, the situation is changing quickly. It’s unsettling for all of us to lose a sense of control that we usually enjoy in our lives. The uncertainty about so many things right now can be overwhelming. I have a few suggestions to help you reduce anxiety and acquire some equanimity. First, do your best to stay in present time. Take care of immediate needs, focus on what is in front of you right now. There is plenty to be accomplished today that can make it a good day for you and your family. Taking care of simple tasks, reading, and spending time with your loved ones are essential for your mental health and those who rely on you.
Second, remember that by staying close to home and reducing our activity levels, we are making a significant contribution to society. Fighting the virus is our #1 priority right now, and it will be a major triumph for us personally and as world community when we win the battle. It’s imperative that we all realize we’re doing our part.
Third, if you don’t already have a meditation practice, this is a good time to start. Breathing, grounding, and upgrading your energy all have a beneficial effect on your psychology and overall well being. Fear has a negative effect on immune response, so whatever you can do to clear yourself of nervous energy will be helpful. As you may know, I am an energy medicine practitioner as well as a psychologist. If you’d like any help clearing energy or creating a simple meditation routine, please reach out.
Last, it’s essential to hold onto the fact that we will get through this. The current reality is not the future reality. It’s human nature to feel that when we’re in pain—physical or mental—that we will remain in pain. I suggest you continue to make plans, and prepare yourself accordingly. Just yesterday the International Olympic Committee announced that the Olympics are going forward as planned and that athletes should continue with their preparation. While most of us are not going to the Olympics, we still have plans and goals that we are working toward. I suggest that you do your best to keep your long term goals in view and continue your training—physical, mental and emotional. Again, I am here to help.
Take good care, Darby