Mental wellbeing during social distancing
Today, social distancing is causing anxiety. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental stress all over the world. It seems that everyone has suffered from some level of anxiety at some point in the lives, whether it be a mild anxiety or a severe panic attack. Therefore, if you have anxiety, and are unsure as to how you are supposed to control it, it may be a good idea to try some of the natural remedies.
Hi, my name is Amin Azzam I’m a psychiatrist by training and at heart a passionate educator.
I work at three San Francisco Bay Area health science universities and also at Osmosis. Today, I’d like to talk to you about Maximizing mental well-being during social distancing. I’ve got four key tips.
We’re social creatures because we’re mammals. By definition mammals crave social bonding and physical contact.
That’s as as opposed to- say, for example- reptiles. So let’s not fight our natural instincts! At the same time, we are humans.
So we have human intelligence as well as being mammals.
We can do the mammalian socializing thing while also leveraging our human intelligence.
Maximize collaboration while minimizing physical contact.
Historical workplace collaborations have occurred around cubicles, desks, conference rooms. But if you think about it, we invented the phone, fax, Email, cell phone, Texting, tweeting, and now slacking. All of those technologies allow us to collaborate at a distance without actually being in physical close proximity to each other. We can still maximize collaboration.
Also I’d like to add videoconferencing has become sufficiently high fidelity now to approximate in-person experiences.
The audio and video are less choppy or delayed than they once were, assuming of course that you have sufficiently high bandwidth capacity. So when you turn on your video and Videoconferencing, it allows for all of that nonverbal communication to be communicated.
So you hear the tone in a voice, you see the facial expressions of the other people you’re communicating or collaborating with.
That maximizes social connectedness, even if we’re not in the physical same space.
Be attuned to your personal physical manifestations of stress.
For me personally, I know that all my stress goes to my lower back. I get a lot of low back pain when I’m under a lot of stress.
So ask yourself: “How and where does stress manifest in my body?” And then: “What can I do to mitigate that?” So for me personally…
I’m going to be doing a lot of stretching to stretch out those lower muscles in my back.
I’m going to be doing sit-ups to strengthen my stomach muscles so that way I can offset the stress in the muscles in my back. You might even try setting an alarm as a regularly regular event in your life where you say: “Every time that alarm goes off, I’m gonna think about stress in my body. And what do I do to offset the stress?” So for me personally, one of my offsetting stress things is walking in nature. Now, I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I can no longer do that because as of today Wednesday, March 18th, we remain a shelter-in-place region of the world. But I can do… next-best things.
So I’m looking out at the trees right outside my window in my home right now. And that helps. It’s not the same, But that helps. I can step outside my front door and feel the natural air.
I can feel the strength of the warmth of the sun on my face.
Those aren’t perfect and they’re not awesome, but they’re gonna help all the same.
So think about ways that you can find your stress relievers while still maintaining social distance.
Express love and caring through words not touch. So a few weeks ago high fives– air high-fives– and fist bumps were thought to be crazy! And now we are asked– at least in the San Francisco Bay area– to maintain at least six feet of distance from other people. So the situation is changing rapidly.
Despite how rapidly its changing, we also have mechanisms for how we can communicate at a distance.
Remember that speaking does not transmit the virus. Our voices carry beyond six feet distance.
And in fact, my voice is being transmitted globally around the world, thanks to the technology.
So let us make sure that we transmit care and affection faster than the virus can transmit around the world.
Lastly, I’d like to say that talking about feelings makes them realer. Intrinsically. feelings are an internally felt experience.
Now we have external manifestations of that when we cry or facial expressions.
But the more that we can declare and say what our feelings are, the realer they are for other people.
And when we bravely share like that, we are following our mammalian instincts.
Okay, so as a quick recap: Remember during social distancing, it’s important to tend to both your own mental health and the well-being of others.
We’re mammals. So we need social contact.
Maximize collaboration while minimizing physical contact.
Be attuned to your personal physical manifestations of stress.
Express love and caring through words not touch. If we all bond together, we will get through this global pandemic stronger. I hope that was helpful.
If you don’t have the resources you need at your school, or if you have questions, Please reach out to us at partnerships@ osmosis org.
Source : Youtube