DG Counseling’s therapists have been quarantining in their homes while also serving clients during the coronavirus crisis. During increased times of anxiety, DGC’s clinicians emphasize the importance of modeling self-care to maintain sufficient mental health.
Self-care can be defined by each individual based on their lifestyle and sources of fulfillment. Here’s a look at 10 different self-care strategies as outlined directly from the DG Counseling staff:
- Dr. Donna Gluck: I have been spending time in my yard with my romping dogs. I’m stopping to look at the new life popping up all around. Remembering the full looking flower bulbs that were planted last year. They have been waiting for just the right time to bloom and some burst with color. Also, designing where I’m building a small new patio has helped me stay focused on the future — surrounded by lovely flowers and greenery. Imagining loved ones enjoying the space with me is invigorating, encouraging, and simply makes me happy. Beautiful, wonder-filled things are happening, we just don’t always see it right away.
- Angela Gervacio, LPC: Some of my tips include going outside for daily walks going for a drive, trying to reach out to at least one family member or friend each day; social connection is crucial. For those living with a spouse/children/roommates, reduce your expectations, as this is a stressful time for so many people: Take naps, read some good books, clean out closets, and go through boxes of stuff you no longer use.
- Victoria Look, LPC: Yoga Flow: There are many mental and physical health benefits of yoga (and there are so many different types of yoga). Finding the yoga style that works for you, and then incorporating it into your daily quarantine can allow for inversion which promotes blood flow through the body and also stretching to keep the muscles/joints healthy. This full body series of movement can help control breathing and lessen anxiety.
- Whitney Bruni, LPC: I love books on tape. I listen to a story that helps me escape from my life and jump into a different world. Of course I have my 3 puppies that seem to always love me even when I’m stressed out. They can be a great distraction. I also like to work on projects. It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment. Right now I’m painting the desk from my office! Finally, I really know how to “let it all go” when I’m off work. I have no guilt about laying on the couch watching TV and chilling out. When I work I work hard but when I’m off I know how to relax.
- Judith Fawell, LCPC: I keep pretty closely to my usual routine & timing getting up/bedtimes etc. Yes I make my bed. But everything is a bit more relaxed. I do make a to do list everyday & try to knock off at least one onerous task along with the usual stuff. (Feels really good to polish off that thing that’s been on the list for months). Touch base by text or phone with one or two people (other than work related) every day. Walk in the sunshine, find a sunny spot in the house to read & snuggle with my kitties.
- Scott Gleason, LPC: I have recently inherited a treadmill and I’m a marathon runner so that’s been my go-to during stressful times. I highly encourage clients to take walks outside but to do so with healthy intentions with a focus on positive thinking. I also encourage healthy anger externalization and for me I find that outlet with my punching bag. Bucket lists are great for times like these so we can gear our focus towards the future. I’ve found solace in the potential to be explorative with different restaurants and parks once everything goes back to normal where I live in the city. In the same vein, I try to de-catastrophize my emotions by journaling and talking to loved ones to be honest with how all the news in the world is affecting me. Of course, my dog Miles has been a primary source of my self-care.
- Kelly Tiemens, LPC: For kids, I have been working with my kiddo clients on getting creative, but also being productive! It can be really easy for kids or teenagers (even adults!) to say they are taking care of themselves by staying in bed and watching Netflix. While I think distraction with Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ can be nice, it is important to not neglect responsibility! I encourage kids to make a short and sweet to-do list of 3 things they can focus on accomplishing each day. Maybe it’s to take the dog out, complete one chore, and spend 30 mins reading a book. This has made a big difference for some of my clients (and their parents!) Personally, I love some good aromatherapy and reflection time. Something I have found that I love to do is turn on my essential oil diffuser, play some calming music and either journal, doodle, or color in some type of coloring book. Super therapeutic and satisfying! I also have noticed that the later I sleep in, the harder it is for me to be productive. I try to give myself a reasonable wake-up time so I can get moving and be productive.
- Gabriela Kraus, MS: What I do is to allow myself each day a moment to explore and to feel life and my Being as part of it, in the dimension of non-matter, but only of love, light, harmony, peace, truth, joy and wisdom, that space that we have little access to and which results in a powerful bath of blessing, bliss and deep re-connection with what we essentially are and that unites each of us in one. To do so, I close my eyes, I take three deep breaths as I bring my awareness and my complete Being to feel, with deep gratitude and love , my connection with all of life including my beloved ones and humanity…So my beautiful journey begins. Sometimes I express that into words, by writing meditations or lyrics, and sometimes I just play my guitar and sing…Sometimes I play the gongs and my toltec little flute. Those are my nourishing spiritual moments.
- Lamese Abdelhamid, LPC: I have been using canvases and paints to just let go, relax, and enjoy some reflection. It is also a nice distraction, as I focus on my painting. I am not an artist at all, but I use this as an outlet for some creativity! I have also done this virtually with friends and family to make it fun or good music to keep it lighthearted!
- Misha Mahadevia, LPC : Music often brings on different feelings and emotions. I like to listen to different genres and explore new music that I can connect with. I also love sharing music with my family and friends, which has been a way to stay in touch with everyone.
- Taylor Quinn, staff: I’ve been doing small projects, painting, and journaling for self care during this time! I find being able to set small goals I can achieve helps me to still feel like I’m making accomplishments day to day. I’ve been painting and writing for self-expression, mainly to release emotion and reflect!