Below is a short discussion inspired by Episode #3, "Managing Our Anxiety and Fear During Covid-19", on the Red Table Talk podcast.
The threat Covid-19 poses to our mental health and relationships is mounting. But if we establish a proper routine, try to avoid compassion fatigue, and try mindfulness coping techniques, we can be in a better position to heal ourselves, and care for the people around us.
In this episode of Red Table Talk, Jada and Willow Smith sit down with Dr. Ramani Durvasula and Jay Shetty to talk about ways to manage mental health and relationships during Covid-19.
Here’s what we can do:
- For our well-being: We can build routines to create structure to our days. We can limit our consumption of bad news and turn our attention to what we can control instead. We can also tell ourselves that whatever we are feeling is valid.
- For our mental health: We can perform breathing exercises and therapy techniques. One is 5-4-3-2-1, where we look at five things, touch four things, listen to three things, smell two things, and taste one thing. The other is simply breathing in for four seconds, then breathing out for a second or two longer.
- For our loved ones: When we take care of ourselves, we can better take care of others. We can normalize personal space so everyone can have time for themselves. We can also keep our care-levels in check to make sure we don’t end up with compassion fatigue.
When we manage our mental health through controlling our schedule, sources of information, and reactions, we can be in a better position to care for others. We can then create a home environment built to endure the pandemic.
the distilld lessons
These are the distilld lessons from Episode #3, "Managing Our Anxiety and Fear During Covid-19", on the Red Table Talk podcast.
Get up knowing what to do first thing in the morning. In a world seemingly under stress, it helps to reintroduce structure and control in small doses.
Isolation doesn’t mean loneliness. It also means solitude. Be your best company.
Get lots of rest. Just living through this pandemic is tiring. Conserve your energy and focus on healing and re-structuring.
Be patient and kind with yourself. Anxiety and grief are natural responses to what's been going on.
Shift your focus. Take T.I.M.E. for yourself: Thankfulness. Insight. Meditation. Exercise.
Focus on the 5-4-3-2-1. Five things you can see. Four things you can touch. Three things you can hear. Two things you can smell. And one thing you can taste. It's a simple and accessible tool of mindfulness.
Breathe in for a count of four, and breathe out for a count longer. It's the simplest way to relax the mind and the body.
Ask for space when you need it. Explain why. Whether it’s two hours to read, or one day to watch “just one more episode”, own your space and your time, and normalize protecting it.
Keep your care level in check, and commit to keeping it high. When you care for yourself, you’re in a better position to care for others.
- Build a routine, and stick to it. With the world in disarray, it’s important to create your own sense of structure and remind yourself of things you have control over.
- Get to know yourself better. You can learn so much by trying out new hobbies and ideas.
- Allow yourself your emotions. At a time like this, anxiety, grief, and loneliness are normal.
- Limit the news you consume. There are things out of your control. Constantly reminding yourself of them is bad for your headspace.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation techniques. You can improve your breathing or practice thankfulness, insight, meditation, and exercise.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.