Managing the New Normal

Advice on adapting to our ever-changing lifestyles

By Susan Baldani

Selena Soni, a licensed clinical social worker with MUV Counseling in Scottdale, has been in practice for 15 years. Her specialties are anxiety disorders, depression, and adjustment to new medical and psychiatric diagnoses.

Here, she gives advice about dealing with the changes and restrictions that COVID-19 has introduced into our lives. She also talks about getting through the holidays in this unprecedented time.

  • Create some space around expectations. Most of us expect a lot from ourselves, but allow yourself to slow down and do things differently.
  • Connect with yourself and with the people you love, and be open to communicating about what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Right now, we’re all having to deal with things that make us uncomfortable.
  • Look at what’s important, and make adjustments to get that same feeling, be it holding Zoom calls or phone conferencing with family and friends. And, don’t give up on weekends; instead, find something that works within your comfort zone.
  • Develop your “Quaranteam,” have tolerance, and be very open about what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.
  • Get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. It’s really important for our entire body to move, and walking or riding a bike and getting fresh air is really a sensory experience. Our bodies need that engagement, and being outside gives us more variation than anything that we can do inside four walls. It’s incredibly important for our mental health.
  • For the holidays, decide what particular traditions you love and then figure out how to keep them. They may look different, but still give you the same feeling.
  • Ask for help to get everything done. Recruit your loved ones to make holidays relaxing and memorable.

Written for Scottsdale Lifestyle magazine in Arizona.

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