Pessimism is unfortunately all too common these days. As more and more of us quarantine to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, newfound or exaggerated isolation provides the opportunity to sit with our negative thoughts. Doctors warn however, that free time in isolation, spent dwelling on our worries and fears can be detrimental to both mental and physical health – making us more susceptible to illness.
In a recent interview with the NY Daily News, Dr. Amanda Spray, Clinician and Director at our Cohen Clinic in New York City, offered advice on breaking the cycle of negative thought and finding safe, healthy methods to remain social, positive, and active.
“I think this is a time of opportunity,” Spray said. “Given the current recommendations to decrease proximity to others, we need to be a little creative.”
She acknowledges that humans are social creatures, and that isolation like this can be detrimental to our mental health – especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions. She suggests that people attempt to reframe the concept of social isolation and realize its only physical isolation – technology such as Facetime, Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom afford us the opportunity to maintain some social interaction with coworkers, friends, and family.
“Just because two or more people can’t be together in the same space, doesn’t mean social connections can’t happen.”
Dr. Spray also suggests things we can do in our own space to maintain a positive outlook such as: keeping and maintain a schedule, finding a new routine, and even assigning certain spaces of the house to people for periods of time.
Still, Dr. Spray understands that these times can be made even more difficult when individuals feel they can’t turn to friends or family for support. As such, Dr. Spray like so many of her peers in the Cohen Veterans Network, and mental health field have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to transition services and continue to counsel and provide support for clients via phone and video.
Learn more about CVN Telehealth.
By Chris Malvagna
CVN Coordinator, Communications & Marketing