An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 16, Number 1
The Covid-19 pandemic has completely disrupted our lives. We are struggling to find a new normal against a backdrop of confusing information, not knowing what or who to believe, and perceiving that we are going through wave after wave of variants that threaten our lives ever being normal again. The pandemic is especially toxic as it is world-wide, has destabilized our everyday lives, threatened our economies and health systems, and appears to be never ending.
We have a choice to make. We can allow ourselves to become depressed, pessimistic, anxious, and angry. Or we can decide to live through this time and in a way fight back by taking the best care of ourselves.
Our January e-letter is about How To Self-Care During Corona! Dr. Kimmel’s blog about Shark Valley can be found in the blog section of our website. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our e-Letters and for the numerous positive and compassionate comments we have received.
KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 16 years, which is educational, informative, and helpful. Topics change every month, but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement. You are invited to email your thoughts to Dr. Kimmel at [email protected] Make sure to read the latest blog addition here.
Our country is in a huge mental health crisis that has probably never been seen before. More people are reaching out for support and help during this time of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty. In response, we have added hours to our therapists’ schedules so that more patients can be seen. We have also posted more helpful articles on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages to support those who benefit from reading about mental health. In addition to our therapists, we have a psychiatrist on staff for medications and a life transformation coach to assist in adjustment to life changes such as grief and loss of livelihood. Our school psychologist works with children to support them through any learning or emotional difficulties due to Coronavirus effecting the learning environment.
KimmelPsychology has committed itself to being available for anyone who is in need of support, therapy, psychiatric consultation, professional coaching, and online psychological and psychoeducational evaluations. We practice telehealth and have also returned to safe, in-office visits. We can be reached by calling our office at 954 755-2885 or by going to the Our Staff page on our website, KimmelPsychology.com.
How to Self-Care During Corona!
(Photo by Mor Shani)
The first cases of Covid-19 in North America were reported in January 2020. This marks the second anniversary of living with a pandemic, the likes of which we have not seen before or been prepared for. In many ways, it has totally disrupted our lives. Confusion, anger, fear of infection and hospitalization, financial loss, disruption of the supply chain, frustration, and uncertainty have affected us all to some extent. Particularly unsettling is not knowing how or when or whether it will actually end.
We have had to make major changes in order to be able to function and have some sense of normalcy. While things seem to be improving, we don’t know whether there is another variant around the corner. Some scientists and politicians are saying that rather than a pandemic we are living with an endemic meaning that Covid will always be here like the flu, and we will have to deal with it.
What is significant is how we live while Coronavirus is here? A critical survival strategy, emotionally and physically, must include actively taking care of oneself. Prolonged activation of our stress-response system can weaken our immune system leading to major physical and mental health problems. Practicing self-care allows for reducing our stress levels as much as possible and alleviating psychological distress including anxiety and depression.
Self-care is not the same thing as being selfish. It includes many activities that people find enjoyable and promote physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health in some way. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is the behaviors you do to take care of your own health. It can include hygiene, nutrition, leisure activities, sports, exercise, seeking professional healthcare services when needed, and much more. One way of combating Covid is to actively practice self-care.
Some self-care activities include:
Self-care is a powerful way of dealing with life during Coronavirus. Quoting Hillel the Elder, “If not now, then when?”
We offer the following information and additional suggestions for Self-Care:
HOW TO SELF-CARE DURING CORONA!
When the dog bites, When the bee stings,
When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad …Julie Andrews: The Sound of Music
WHAT TO KNOW!
- For many people, Covid has destabilized and changed everything in their lives
- The pandemic has also created a huge mental health crisis; it is critical to take care of one’s physical and mental health during this time
- Practicing self-care routinely is one way of fighting back; it is especially important during this time and when life feels overwhelming
- Self-care is not selfish; nurturing ourselves gives us meaning and eases stress, anxiety, anger, and depression
- The WHO has defined self-care as the behaviors one does to take care of one’s own health and includes hygiene, nutrition, leisure activities, sports, exercise, physical and mental healthcare, and more
- Self-care is an attitude that if followed routinely, can nurture oneself to be positive and optimistic about life
- A self-care plan is however you define it; it is your plan and no one else’s
- Be patient and remember that all things will pass
WHAT TO DO…HOW TO SELF CARE!
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water
- Set an intention of getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night
- Practice kindness and gratitude
- Take deep breaths and exercise daily; change your workouts
- Give yourself a vacation day
- Turn off Netflix, get off the couch, and do an activity
- Watch only reliable and fact-based television/internet news for short periods
- Avoid excessive drinking, drugging, gambling, or other risky behaviors
- Get into nature by going outside or walking in a park every day
- Virtually travel by watching travel videos
- Use virtual technology to maintain family and social connections weekly
- Start or nurture a home garden
- Read enjoyable/favorite books and listen to upbeat music
- Laugh as often as you can; watch funny videos
- Set/maintain boundaries by creating a “no” list of things not wanted in your life
- Limit your social media and youtube consumption
- Play a game; do jigsaw puzzles
- Join an online club; take an online course or lecture
- Stay calm and practice mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxation techniques
- Seek professional help if you feel depressed and are unable to find any moments of happiness
WE PRACTICE TELEHEALTH AND CAN HELP!
Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at [email protected]
Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
Coral Springs FL 33067
As always, we are interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this e-Letter, email me your comments at [email protected] and I will publish them next month.
The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.
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If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2022 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.