In the midst of the current situation revolving around Coronavirus. Anxiety during COVID-19 is completely normal, and many of us are finding ourselves feeling a little concerned or stressed. Maybe you’re concerned about yourself or a family member getting sick. Perhaps you have been furloughed from work or are now working from home. Or, maybe you are practicing social distancing and limiting contact with friends. All of these new obstacles significantly affect our everyday lives while also adding stress, anxiety, and overwhelming uncertainty as we attempt to adjust to isolation in such a short period of time. This can be challenging for anyone, but especially for individuals suffering from mental health disorders. Solutionist Counseling in Boca Raton is here to help. We have outlined some basic facts about COVID-19 and some tips on how to adjust to working from home.
How Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spread?
Although we are not a medical facility and always refer people to contact a medical provider for specific information regarding their personal health, there is general information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on how the virus can spread and who is more susceptible to experiencing complications if they contract the Coronavirus.
Individuals who are over 60 and have underlying medical issues may have complications if infected by COVID-19. The virus is spread through contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces such as elevator buttons, check out keypads, gas pumps, and more. As a result, it is good practice to consistently wash your hands after public contact. Currently, the suggested time is 20 seconds, similar to singing happy birthday twice while washing your hands with soap and water.
Working from Home and Handling Anxiety During COVID-19
Working from home on a consistent basis is difficult in itself. With the added bonus of schools being closed in Palm Beach County and Boca Raton, just like the rest of the nation, maybe you’re finding yourself for the first time having to telecommute. If this is new to you and you’re doing it for the first time with small children in the house, here are some tips to help you get through the day.
Stick to a schedule
If you need to start work at 8:00 AM make sure you’re not rolling out of bed at 7:59 AM and getting started. Treat it as if you have a commute which is getting kids up, fed and settled. Give yourself time for a coffee, tea or whatever gets you going in the morning that you would normally maybe stop for on your way to the office.
In addition, get the kids up right away in the morning. Our first thought is to let them sleep in since they don’t have school and maybe you can get a little work done before they get up. However, if you get into the middle of a project and they come in ready for breakfast or activities you’re going to be forced to stop and lose focus on your task at hand. Most schools have online learning that needs to be done when in session. Continuing those sessions is key to keeping your children engaged. If they are in school and using online sources such as Successmaker or IReady set a time for them to start and stick to the schedule.
Find a corner with a view
Although the initial thought is to build a soundproof den so nothing can distract you, it’s very easy to become quite restless when working secluded in a room. It’s always best to open the blinds, work in a room with a view of the yard (not the neighbors wall) and you will find that it’s worth the few distractions and you won’t find yourself constantly wanting a break.
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
The age-old procrastination thought process will soon come out in you when you start working from home. It’s easy to think “well I’m not commuting and I’m here all day so I will just do it later.” Although technically true, it’s best to try and finish up your workday just as you would when you were out of the house. Schedule that evening family time with dinner, a movie or some activities and don’t leave the work for the evening hours.
Although tempting, don’t work in your underwear.
It’s best to get up, shower and run your morning routine as you normally would. Although you can probably ditch the pants suit or tie for casual clothing, getting dressed is great for the body and mind.
If You Can’t Get Anything Done With the Kids…
Transitioning to work from home telecommute positions with young children that are home is a daunting experience. Kids need our attention – plain and simple. They will certainly seek it all day long with the excitement of no school, daycare, and you as their best friend right there with them. If there is one tip you take away from this let it be KEEP A SCHEDULE. Kids are routine and schedule based individuals. Consequently, structure is the single most important thing you can give them to keep the sanity in the house. This way, you won’t end up like a toilet paper shelf in the grocery market feeling empty and ransacked by the end of the day. Here are some steps to take:
Wake the kids up.
- As I said before, get them up early, fed, dressed, and settled before you try and start your day.
Have them make their beds.
- Making the bed is a simple task but can give them their first accomplishment of the day first thing.
Have their snacks ready.
- Just like you would do when sending them off to school have their snacks prepared and ready to go for the day. You can even pack their lunch box and have them sit as they would in school. You might be surprised how fun they think it is.
- Cheeto fingers are a real thing. Be mindful if you buy the variety pack of chips that some come with Cheeto’s. Although leopard print can be stylish, it’s not a great look.
Have their activities ready.
- Find a small area where you can set everything up and have it ready to go for the day. Have their crayons and paper ready, games or anything else that is being done that day.
Let them help.
- For some reason, the young ones like to clean (take advantage while you can). Kids love to dust, do dishes, sweep, and reorganize. Although it may not be at a level of professional cleaning service it keeps them busy, they enjoy it and it gives a feeling of accomplishment. Let them clean away and enjoy the time to get some work done.
Although we as a community are not in full quarantine, most people are practicing some social distancing. The feeling of isolation and anxiety during COVID-19 can creep up before you know it. It’s good to keep busy. Now is a good time to go through the cupboards, old clothes that don’t fit the kids anymore or get a jump on that spring cleaning. These are productive tasks to do if you’re feeling anxiety from watching the news and the uncertainty that is out there.
Sometimes, disconnecting from the digital world gives you the space to process your thoughts and ease anxiety during COVID-19. However, if you’re finding yourself at a level of stress or anxiety that is impeding your daily life, please reach out to us here at Solutionist Counseling Services. Our counseling services in Boca Raton will help you get through this time and provide you with coping techniques to make your days better.