What does it mean to embark into a new season and Phase Three of COVID-19, as I call it?
Summer days are coming to an end, schools have reopened, leaves will start falling and life will go on as it usually does with each change of season. Somehow, everything feels different this Fall though. The reality of this year’s deadly virus, the shifting and restructuring of our lives and the thought of upcoming NYC cold days, are causing a lot of us heightened anxiety.
I am calling this period Phase Three of COVID-19 because that’s how I have rationalized in my head. Phase One was about dealing with the shock and novelty of the virus and trying to wrap our heads around it and accept the severity of it all. Phase Two was about us trying to settle into a new routine, reshift our daily lives and structures and cultivate new perspectives. Furthermore, for us New Yorkers was adjusting to giving up temporarily on doing the things we love so much about this city. And after all that craziness, Phase Three arrives and the anxiety levels are rising. The upcoming elections, the tension of racial discrimination issues, the possibility of another lockdown have people really concerned about life in the fall and winter.
So below are some tools and techniques I have been providing my clients and overwhelmed friends:
The saying “Take it one day at a time” goes a long way these days and I jokingly say that it's never been more appropriate but I really encourage people to practice that.
In my experience and looking at history, societies go through changes and shifts and things do get better, so my advice has been to stay present, deal with the tangible things in front of us and be patient.
I always emphasize the importance of fitness routines even for 30 minutes a day and the significance of meditation and mindfulness.
To some this might not sound like the right advice, but keeping expectations low for the rest of the year can be a relief and less pressure for a lot of people.
To a lot of my clients, I have suggested taking on classes, new challenges at work and engaging in more things to feed their soul.
And last but most importantly, reach out to a therapist. Teletherapy has made it very convenient to get the support you need from the comfort of your home.
Keep the hope going and believe that everything is going to be OK!
Feruze Zeko Psychotherapy