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Continue Regular Therapy Online

There’s a lot to be stressed about – Virus, friends, family, economy, jobs, empty shelves at the grocery store. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you are not alone.

While everyone is unique in their reactions to isolation, you may be likely to have feelings of loneliness, sadness, fear, anxiety and stress. These emotions are perfectly normal given the current circumstances.

A recent study published by The Lancet reported negative psychological effects of quarantine including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion and anger. These effects can be felt both during and after the period of quarantine.

During this isolation period you may be feeling cut off from the rest of the world, unable to continue your usual routine and with no control over what is happening. It is important to create a new normal (for now) routine, to maintain connections with your loved ones and to keep the mind and body healthy and active.

It is important to practice self-compassion, to keep up to date with the facts and necessary information on the virus, without allowing our anxiety to get the better of us.

Taking steps to protect your mental health

If you find that you are struggling with your emotions during this period of isolation, it is important to seek professional help. Many therapists are shifting to online therapy and all Pineapple Support therapists, counsellors and coaches provide teletherapy either via video platform or over the telephone.

If you are currently seeing a therapist and have concerns regarding switching from in person to online therapy, you may discover that online therapy works better for you and your needs. But, if you discover that you still prefer in-person appointments, there is no need to worry. This situation is not permanent and once the social distancing efforts have subsided, you can return to regular, face-to-face meetings.

If you feel you could benefit from speaking with therapist and qualify for Pineapple Support subsidized therapy, please reach out and we will connect you with one of our industry friendly therapists, counsellors or coaches.

 

Resources

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/does-online-therapy-actually-work_n_58af1ffde4b060480e05bd79?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAA-DFVkQ3Y-cDk80cBm1W3jy-Kchis-a0Ocm0358ur5sF6l6RiWhEjWlMbXnPyKCc3SZ1ueKQ6-Il9HV__1a9Gv7OLCqyy2cacPqlPadhmQnQCFHkbMP1NRVwF9HTau9b-Lb3GLGTOFSfVMU8U6FXi1gb6uXWmgvC3qzz4s-gkvc

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/transition-to-online-therapy-during-coronavirus-4799808

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-pacific-heart/202003/coronavirus-anxiety-should-i-see-my-therapist-face-face

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673620304608

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15324539

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30460-8/fulltext#seccestitle150

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-wake-up-millennials-prioritize-your-mental-health-right-now-says-psychotherapist.html

Maintain A Connection With the People You Love

In the current crisis, when we are being asked to self-isolate and practice social distancing, it is more important than ever to maintain a connection with the people you love.

As humans we are naturally pack animals, this makes communication and positive social connections essential for our mental health and help us cope in times of stress. Communication during isolation can be as simple as phoning a friend to share your emotional experience, using videoconferencing technology to check in with a family member, or spending quality time with the people you live with.

 

Loneliness and the feeling of being disconnected to humanity is natural during these times and some may feel powerless to these emotions. Reach out to your friends and family to check that they are okay. A simple text message or phone call to let a person know that you are thinking of them can bring needed assurance and positive energy.

Many of us are living with a partner, house mates, family members, it is important to have communication and relationships with those outside of the house as tensions are sure to rise.

Luckily for us, we live in a time of technology and the options we have are vast. Google hang-out, Skype, Face-Time, WhatsApp, Houseparty, Zoom, to name a few – these platforms are free to use and a great, fun way to virtually connect when in-person contact isn’t possible.

Whenever possible, try to use video calling for social communication. Facial expressions and body language form a large part of human interaction and alert us to a person’s mood, giving a much deeper and effective connection than voice call. In these times of isolation, non-verbal communication has even greater importance as they can provide a feeling of “presence”.

We would love to hear your ideas on how to stave off loneliness during isolation. Here are some of our ideas:

1) Have a virtual date night with a friend or another couple.
2) Start a new activity together, such as reading a book or watching a series. Check in with each other and call or text to discuss.
3) Arrange a virtual party with games or a dress theme.
4) Learn something new together, like a language, cooking or art.

However you decide to communicate with your loved ones during isolation, please remember; You are not alone. We are all in this together.

If you would like to speak to a Pineapple Support volunteer please visit PineappleSupport.org

 

With love from Leya Tanit

resources

https://www.psychology.org.au/getmedia/d7cb8abd-3192-4b8f-a245-ace9b8ef44d5/20APS-IS-COVID-19-Isolation-P1.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/conscious-communication/202003/maintaining-relationships-while-practicing-social-distancing

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2020/03/25/phil-sharp-tips-to-succeed-in-isolation/

https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Get Creative

Pineapple Support is an organization that is based upon communication and human connection. The world is now in a situation where this connection is not always possible, many of us have been left with a lot of spare time on our hands and are unsure of what to do with it.

Getting creative, whether it be art, writing, sewing, baking or any other craft, is a great way to keep the mind active and possibly learn a new skill. You may even find a talent you never knew you had.

Crafting and getting creative have a number of benefits for our mental health, including stress reduction; a way to regulate strong emotions such as anger; self-efficacy improvement; and a reduction in your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment, among other things.

Focussing on a craft can also take the mind off the current news and headlines, which is something we all need to do to care for our mental health and well-being.

 

Below is a list of websites offering tutorials and ideas for getting creative during isolation.

 

We would love for you to share with us your creations or ideas for others to get creative via Twitter @pineappleYSW

 

With love, Leya Tanit

 

 

Resources

https://www.realhomes.com/news/7-craft-ideas-to-try-while-in-social-isolation

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/crafts-bored-in-quarantine_ca_5e78fa23c5b6f5b7c548f2f9?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAALkd2efUtx7PXAu4i-ocsXOELSD0Yep7QDOVcvZxG3UVAm5189zZ3XS3FCRMOQH_uI4RrAcbuN5fapWFXvbQxIzbV-F6rhihJH4IsXJyqwu2q5juA-7RTl9md48u748qtERNmHJBWJFAHOAHAghp7xFS_RLH9fkBAC0B-Y0q97MS

https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/articles/up-skill-in-isolation-online-craft-classes-you-can-do-from-home/

https://www.marchnetwork.org/creative-isolation

4 Ways to look after yourself in a crisis

Hello you, how’re you feeling at the moment?

I’m honest with you, I’m feeling overwhelmed by this worldwide crisis and by all the information my mind, body, and soul gets fed with. I try to stay positive and see the crisis as a chance but some days it is more difficult to stay positive than others.

This is why I have decided to write some positive and uplifting words to show you that you are not alone in this situation and that there are options to create positive emotions and rituals in a time of uncertainty.

So what can you do if you feel anxious and overwhelmed? How can you find a way to ease your mind?

Here are 4 ways you can try

1. Limit news and social media

It is important to stay informed but it can get too much for our mental and physical health to digest all this news. The fact that most of the news you see at the moment is negative can grow fear, anxiety, and depression.

So why not limit your daily news and social media consumption?

Instead of listening to the news or scrolling through social media in the morning and evening, create a nourishing morning ritual and a soothing evening ritual. This will help you to start your day energised and to fall asleep less worrying.

2. Routine

In times of change and uncertainty, it is important to have a daily routine. A daily routine can help you to cope with the change, easing anxiety and stress. The routine you create for yourself can be your anchor and can make you feel grounded. By incorporating positive daily habits and self-care into your daily routine your mental and physical health will profit.

What could you incorporate into your routine?
Movement
Meditation
Yoga
Morning + Bedtime ritual
Healthy diet
Time to unwind and relax
Time with your loved ones

3. Connect + communicate

As we are all in this together, it is important to connect with people you feel safe, held, grounded and loved. Even if you can’t see our loved ones physically, you can meet them virtually. You can call them, video call them, e-mail or even write them a letter.

Organise and schedule coffee/tea dates with your friends or a loved family member. You can schedule a date to practice yoga, meditation or a fitness workout with your best friend or training buddy.

Create an online book club, an art class, coffee club, music class, etc. There are no rules, so let your imagination flow and create something to connect with each other 🙂

4. Be kind and compassionate – Loving-Kindness Meditation

I want to invite you to close your eyes and take 20 minutes for yourself to listen to this loving-kindness meditation from Kristin Neff:

https://self-compassion.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/LKM_cleaned.mp3

As words are so powerful, try to repeat these words every day:

May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live with ease

We’re all different and we all have different needs, so it is important to find your way to take care of yourself. I recommend that you try out different things and see how you feel. How do you already care for yourself mentally and physically? Is there something new you want to try?

I also want to tell you that whatever you are feeling at the moment is okay. Try to talk to someone if your anxiety or stress gets overwhelming. I think it is really important that we talk, help and take care of each other.

I hope you liked this article. If you have questions, inputs or want to schedule an online session with me, I would love to hear from you: therapy@denise-wolf.com

Written by Denise Wolf

denise-wolf.com

Self-Care as simple as A-B-C

Every job takes energy but being an adult entertainer or a support in the industry requires giving a lot of ourselves, sometimes to the point of burnout. During self-care month, we are highlighting ways to spot and change the habits that drain us and ways to re-energize when we feel depleted. Here is a start:

 

Self-care works best when we take an A-B-C approach; Awareness, Balance, and Connection.

 

  • Find your own ‘optimal range’ of productivity. Take stock of your commitments. Write down both the positive and the negative effects (money, strain, stress, fatigue). And then rate the necessity of them. Be honest, are you doing it because you need to or because someone else expects it of you?

 

  • Make a list of self-care strategies. If you find this difficult, ask friends, family, colleagues, which self-care strategies they find most effective.

 

  • Schedule time in your diary each week for guilt-free self-care. This doesn’t have to be big or time consuming. It can be curling up with a favorite movie or having a cappuccino date with a friend.

 

  • Have transition time from work to home. For example, do five ‘sun salutations’ or change into comfy clothes when you get home. Create a habit that signals to your brain that it is time to wind down.

 

  • Set a time each day when you completely disconnect from technology (phone, computer, television, everything). Even an hour break from technology can recharge you before you face the online world again.

 

  • Spend face-to-face time with people who give you support. A hug is worth a thousand encouraging words, especially when you feel drained. But talk is important too! Talk out your stress. Process your thoughts and reactions with someone else (colleague, therapist, friend, family member). Make a plan of how you can strengthen your positive support system and distance yourself from those who fuel your stress.

 

  • Spend time with a pet. Pets accept whatever affection you are able to give them without asking for more and can give endless amount of unconditional support in return. Bonus – our blood pressure and heart rate decreases when interacting with animals.

 

  • Make laughter, joy, and play a priority at home. Creating fun may be a focus at work but it’s equally important at home. Name three things you feel grateful for today. Think of something that brings you a sense of joy (Make a top ten list and keep it handy when you are down). Who do you love that you can reach out to today (Call them!). What made you laugh today? (Share it!)

 

Self-care not only helps us personally, it helps us to be our best work selves as well. Remember, in order to give our best at work, we must have something left to give. If you feel overwhelmed or like you need more support than you have access to at home, contact Pineapple Support.

 

Dr. Jena Field