ANXIETY MANAGEMENT TIPS DURING PANDEMIC 
UNCERTAINTY
by MS Marshall Motsenbocker (Graduate Research Assistant) & Dr. Virmarie Correa-Fernandez (LABHRT director)
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Break down current stressors: 

 

Intention is required to manage our difficult thoughts and emotions. One way we can decrease the control anxiety has over our lives is to actually take time and reflect on our thoughts and feelings, as well as how we are coping with them. The process of sitting in our thoughts and emotions rather than constantly distracting ourselves might seem counterintuitive to managing internal states, but it’s actually an effective solution.  

What is within my control? What is outside of my control? 

“Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference” R. Niebuhr.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engage in self-care:

 

Self-care activities are restful and energizing. Virtual work is now the norm, which leads to our work hours often becoming extended. Excessive screen time can be exhausting. It’s important to know what recharges you both individually and with others. As possible, set aside at least one full day of rest, where you are catering to your own wants and needs. 

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Communication: 

Although social media is a way in which we can maintain updates, overuse and reliance on it can lead to feeling isolated. To manage stress, it is important to enjoy time with others in person (following current COVID-19 recommendations). Schedule time to connect with important others. Reflect on which connections allow for fun and relaxation, deep discussions, sound advice, and support.   

Physical health:

  

Physical activities are an effective way to release stress and pent-up energy. Try to engage in at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity  daily. Get creative with your physical health! Whether it’s taking walks, dancing, going to the gym (safely), or working out at home, maintaining our physical health also improves our mental health! Free virtual classes are also offered.  

 

WORKING FROM HOME-APA’S PSYCHOLOGISTS’ ADVICE FOR NEWLY REMOTE WORKERS
 by Zara Greenbaum 
by MS Marshall Motsenbocker (Graduate Research Assistant) & Dr. Virmarie Correa-Fernandez (LABHRT director)
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Being picky: 

It’s okay, and even encouraged, to be highly selective about your workspace. Take time to think about where in your home you will be the most productive and reduces distraction. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid your bedroom and if that’s not possible, away from your bed!

 

Small goals and tasks:

 

Don’t try to “boil the ocean.” In other words, creating a to-do list with several small or minor tasks is more effective than working towards abstract, large goals. Completing this type of task list also increases your self-efficacy.  

Boundaries!

 

Boundaries are not just important interpersonally. They’re also necessary within the work realm. Set time limits around work. As we work from home, it might seem easier to work throughout the day and night. However, setting a regular work schedule will increase your productivity and reduce chances of burnout.  

Break! 

Aside from boundaries, it’s efficient to take breaks from screens and devices throughout your workday.  Go for 20-30 minutes of work at a time, followed by a 5minute break.  Try to refrain from using your phone during your mini breaks. Your eyes and mind need rest.  

 

Be Active! 

A great way to maintain your energy and productivity levels is to stay active! If setting aside a full hour of your day isn’t possible, break it down into several, mini active sessions.  

Communication: 

Given the remote environment, work schedules with coworkers may be misaligned. To minimize any miscommunication, communicate with your team about the best way and time to contact them. Also, explain your work communication preferences.  

WHAT IS SELF-CARE?!
by MS Marshall Motsenbocker (Graduate Research Assistant) & Dr. Virmarie Correa-Fernandez (LABHRT director)

Self-care has become a buzzword, but what does it truly mean?!

 

While there is no universal definition, it is important to discover what it means for YOU. As long as you do so in a way that is strategized, restful, and realistic, then you’re doing self-caring appropriately! Importantly, self-care applies to thoughts and actions during and outside of your work/study schedule! 

 

Strategic:

 

  • It is helpful to think of self-care in terms of a rest strategy, which should incorporate several “mini” actions throughout your day that provide rest as well as other intentional activities for when you are not working. Examples include: 

  • Taking a quick 5–10-minute walk/stretch wherever you can in the middle of your workday  

  • Scheduling 10–15-minute power naps 

  • Having breakfast and/or eating a healthy snack 

  • Listening to music 

 

Restful:

 

  • Choose forms of self-care that are restful and/or energizing. Think long-term rather than short term. Although some activities feel good in the moment, they may not reenergize you when work needs to be resumed. Ask yourself, “will this particular activity provide me rest and energize me when I need to resume work?” Some restful activities are better for evenings/weekends when you are not working. Examples include:  

  • Try to have at least 1 day per week totally for rest and leasure!  

  • Practicing deep breathing 

  • Exercising 

  • Taking a bath 

  • Engaging in a hobby 

Realistic: 

  • Choose a self-care routine that is realistic and tailored to your lifestyle. It’s great to experiment with new forms of self-care. At the same time, stick to what is most replenishing. Will your self-care routine lean more towards including others or will the routine be predominantly independent? Or balanced? Examples include:  

  • IF a full day of leisure is not an option for you at this point, make space for half a day or a few hours in a row! 

  • Journaling 

  • Meditating 

  • Avoid to “over-commit” 

  • Scheduling a meal with a friend or relative 

  • Connecting with someone for a brief “hello” during your work breaks.

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MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATIONAL  
by MS Marshall Motsenbocker (Graduate Research Assistant) & Dr. Virmarie Correa-Fernandez (LABHRT director)
  • Often times, we think of our mental health as separate from our physical health. The truth is, mental health and physical health impact each other! Our thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions comprise our mental health, and what’s most important is how we are taking care of ourselves mentally. Much like we take care of our physical health through activities, we can also improve our mental health by engaging in self-care and other activities that boost our mood in the short-term and long-term. It’s important to be proactive about our mental health rather than solely react to days when we are feeling down. How will you improve your mental health today? 

 

 

 

Techniques you can practice-Videos and demonstrations! 

Here, you’ll find some videos, recordings, and demonstrations pertaining to mindfulness. Experiment with the techniques to manage your anxiety in a different way.

  

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