Almost two years after the start of the pandemic, new cases of COVID and hospitalizations are on the rise again in New Jersey.
Rachel Strohl, senior psychologist at Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey, said that while everyone is tired of the disturbances, a growing number of Garden State residents are also struggling with anxiety, anger and depression.
“It’s really important that we validate and normalize these feelings right now. People feel lonely and it is important that we tell them that they are not alone, ”she said.
She noted that as we continually face different types of pandemic challenges, it is important to make plans for self-care and coping while accepting the uncertainty of the situation.
“If we can exist in this uncertainty, it really frees us more, and that way we stop trying to eliminate it. Anxiety is an overestimation of risk, and truly an underestimation of our ability to cope, ”she said.
Self-care is the key
Strohl said self-care can look a lot different to many people.
“For some people, it’s basic stress management, it’s relaxation, it’s exercise, meditation, moderation of their sleep, their diet,” she said. declared.
For others, “it may depend on their religion or spirituality, it may be connecting with friends in a safe way.”
She said it can also be a time to “get back to those things we really love: sitting a little more in pajamas, not going out so much, spending more time with our family doing board games, preparing. meals. “
What if that wasn’t enough?
Strohl said that for some, taking care of yourself is enough to relieve anxiety and stress, but if not, there is professional help.
“Are we bringing in unhealthy behaviors, like alcohol use, drug addiction, drugs?” It’s not going to be of any use to us, it will be a short-term escape. “
Winterize your sanity
Strohl said it was a good time for everyone to “winterize” their sanity.
“And what that means is getting creative with the outdoors, maybe getting together with friends or family around a campfire, relighting those heat lamps. You can ice skate or snow tubing, ”she said.
She said that a productive approach to dealing with a variety of problems is cognitive therapy.
“We know that our thoughts lead to our feelings and behaviors and most of all we want to make sure those thoughts are realistic and accurate,” Strohl said.
She explained that it wasn’t about encouraging someone to think positively, but rather in a more realistic way.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]
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NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts
In recent years, state lawmakers have risen to the challenge of dealing with accused child predators in the ranks of teachers and educators.
The following people have been arrested in recent years. Some were convicted and sentenced to prison terms, while others accepted plea deals for probation.
Other cases are still pending, including legal delays in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.