Monday, March 30, 2020

Thoughts on Life During the Pandemic

We're all struggling with a new reality--social distancing; sheltering in place; self-quarantine; working from home, or not at all; virtual meetings; virtual classes; virtual book groups; virtual parties.  “Virtual-just-about-everything.”  I’m impressed by the creativity and resilience I’ve seen in clients, family, friends and community.  Along-side positivity is the need to acknowledge the full spectrum of feelings that this unprecedented reality evokes.
This post will suggest some fundamental tools and strategies to help you thrive, as much as possible, during this time.  Included in that are suggestions on how to acknowledge difficult feelings without drowning in them.

The fundamentals:

Keep to a routine sleep and wake schedule.  If you’re working, keep to a routine work schedule.  Dress for work and/or social video calls.  Eat healthy.  Breathe. Exercise/Move your body. Stay in touch with others such as family, friends, neighbors and co-workers while abiding by social distancing and other safe practices.

Make time to acknowledge your feelings, but try not to let them take charge of you.  Make a “space” for them, such as a journal, a real or imaginary container, or a particular time during your day.  Be self-compassionate, and remember that others are likely experiencing similar feelings.  Remember that your feelings are valid and important, but they aren’t all of you.

Most important, if you’re feeling you can’t cope on your own, seriously consider contacting a therapist, or your primary care physician.  Most are offering Telehealth sessions, via video or telephone, covered by many insurance plans.

Here are some Crisis Center Contacts:

Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 741741, available 24/7, text only
Samaritans Statewide Helpline, 1-877-870-4673, available 24/7, talk or text
Call 2 Talk, 508-532-2255, available 24/7, talk or text

Additional Resources:

Mental Health Wellness Tips for Adults & Children



There are lots of yoga, meditation and relaxation sites and apps on line

https://www.virusanxiety.com/?fbclid=IwAR0NCRf7sYe0dzKhSOy859VTBGl3jHSqf9-hl8u_y8gRywTzxwWAPn_Q3Sw

Article: That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief
https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief?fbclid=IwAR29pZbwu4haJKYO3unFDllLiccfCrEcD41jBfpzSPVAM-NIRU7XARmAVEY

Art- Performance & Visual

A virtual concert by Berkeley School of Music students:   https://youtu.be/QagzdvzzHBQ

https://www.vulture.com/2020/03/all-musicians-streaming-live-concerts.html

12 Museums From Around the World That You Can Visit Virtually:

Classes/Courses

Small group facilitated discussions on personal and career topics, many on-line

edX.  https://www.edx.org/
Courses, many free, on an abundance of subjects, partnered by a variety of colleges and universities, both self-paced and time-bound

Last but not Least

A list of lists of all types from Encore.org.
https://encore.org/a-long-list-of-free-resources-to-help-you-get-through-this-crisis/

Friday, May 13, 2016



Such a beautiful day today.

Friday, October 26, 2012



This article beautifully illustrates the value of allowing people to grieve in their own time and their own way.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-grieve/201210/when-grandma-grieves-50-years-love

Wednesday, October 3, 2012



A wonderful article about how to keep moving forward and not get derailed when things don't go exactly as hoped or planned. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


“The present moment is the mother of the future.
Take care of the mother, and the mother will take care of the child.”

Quote posted with permission from Amy Gutman
PlanBNation.net

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Young Adults, Anti-Depressants, and Talk Therapy

Here's the link to a thought-provoking Wall Street Journal article about young adults who have been taking anti-depression medications for much of their lives, and the possible harm it causes to adolescent and young adult development, including the evolution and strengthening of a young person's sense of personality, self-awareness, and confidence in their own ability to understand and manage their emotions.  The article is a vote of confidence for the value of talk therapy. 

The Medication Generation. 
"Many young people today have now spent most of their lives on antidepressants. Have the drugs made them 'emotionally illiterate'?"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303649504577493112618709108.html

Read about Katherine Sharpe's book, Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are, on the Good Reads page of this blog. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coping with Being Unemployed

Labor Day seems like a good time to talk about coping with being unemployed. It helps to remember that being unemployed while seeking work is a transition, especially if you were previously employed, attending school, or voluntarily not working. Transitions tend to elicit feelings of loss and uncertainty. Yet, even when painful and difficult, transitions are a time of opportunity.

First, build a foundation of self-care from which to take advantage of your state of unemployment. Attend to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Here are some simple, yet powerful ideas that will likely improve your mood and confidence, increase your productivity, and decrease your anxiety.

• Create structure in your life through a daily and weekly schedule. Each individual functions best at a different point on the continuum between a rigid and flexible structure. Experiment with what works best for you, and be honest with yourself about it—in other words, find what works and hold yourself accountable.

• It’s usually best to awaken and go to sleep at consistent times all or most days of the week.

• Eat nutritiously and at consistent times of the day.

• Choose an enjoyable form of physical exercise or activity to include in your daily schedule.

• Stay connected to family, friends and acquaintances, including in-person time. Don’t isolate.

• Make time for hobbies or other activities you haven’t had time for in the past.

With this foundation in place, you can focus on activities that will boost your “hire-ability” and your chances of finding work. Use your current wealth of time to grow your professional expertise and your professional network. Think: education.

• Research and read about areas within and outside of your field that interest you. The internet is a vast resource for learning.

• Contact professionals within and outside of your field whose work or organizations interest you. Learn about their work and how it is connected to the work you’ve done or would like to do. You might find that professional connections and relationships that you form while unemployed will continue to develop even after you find work.

• Consider volunteering as a way of learning about a new field, or keeping fresh in your current field. Volunteering can also lead to paid work. Similarly, consider taking a part-time job or a contract job.

Finally, seek help and support. If funds permit, consider hiring a career counselor or coach for direction, guidance and support. Or consider forming or joining a support group with others that are looking for work. If you find yourself debilitated or bogged down by depression or anxiety, consider counseling. Counseling can help you get out from under thoughts, feelings and actions that are getting in the way of making the most of your present circumstances, and help you to take advantage of the opportunities that your situation provides.

May this time be one of growth and development for you, and lead to satisfying work.