How to navigate the coronavirus outbreak and avoid anxiety and depression
Hi. I’m Clarissa Gosney, licensed psychologist with Pinnacle Counseling and Testing Center in Southern California. With the stress of the coronavirus you may be feeling anxiety or depression. I’m here to give you some tips and tools on how to survive social isolation.
First, get yourself set up with a good daily schedule. Wake up at a certain time each day. Schedule yourself some good healthy meals and exercise. Even if this means taking a brisk walk around the block or playing tag with the kids. And get yourself and your children set up with a good bedtime routine so you can get enough sleep throughout the night.
Depression tends to be worry about the past and anxiety worry about the future that we can’t control. In order to limit the stress, I recommend doing some exercises to help you stay present. This can include prayer or meditation; it can also include some grounding exercises.
Many therapists are offering counseling services virtually during this time. I also recommend limiting your media exposure. Even though we’re being discouraged from physical social contact, I highly recommend keeping in contact with your friends and loved ones through talk, text, and even video chat. We so much crave that social connection with people and this is a great way to continue to make that happen.
By following some of these tips and tools, you can be helping yourself to reduce feelings of anxiety or feelings of stress. And by helping yourself, you can also help others.
Clarissa Gosney, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, founder of Pinnacle Counseling and Testing Center. She specializes in helping individuals with Selective Mutism through unique testing services and runs a camp called "Outside Voice" for children and adolescents with the condition. Dr. Gosney employs cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy to assist clients in overcoming anxiety and traumatic experiences, providing tools for independent, short-term therapy with lasting benefits.