The last several weeks have dramatically affected most of our personal schedules and activities. Many of us find that we have more time on our hands as we have fewer options of things to do. Simple things that we took for granted like going to the mall, a park, a movie, a play, or a sporting event are, at least temporarily, not options. Time has slowed as we shelter at home.
So, what are we supposed to be doing?
The last few meetings we have been talking about things we still can do. Household projects, learning something new, and having time for those people and things we love are all things we can fill the hours with.
As the weeks pass, we also need to evolve our attitudes and perception of what we are collectively experiencing. This week we talked about the above chart and moving from the fear zone to a more productive place. Much of this process is recognizing where we are personally and understanding that the place the pandemic has put us in is not good for our mental health.
By attempting to modify our actions, reactions, and behaviors, we can improve our mental state. This week, take a good look at this chart and try to move yourself a bit further from the fear zone and more into the growth and learning zone.
So here we are. Day before our meeting. Our regular meeting place is closed. Everyone from the World Health Organization to the City of Omaha has encouraged gatherings to be less than 10 people. Clearly the message is to stay home and not interact.
The virus is only part of the story. Especially for us. Perhaps an even bigger issue is the fear it brings. Helping to cope with fear is our thing. We truly need our group to be functioning. Especially now.
But, at least for this week, it can’t be as normal. No place to meet and whether we should or not is at best, debatable.
So, here is the plan. At our normal meeting time of 7pm on Thursday, we will have virtual sharing hour. Something I think we all need. Here is how:
Prior to the meeting, download and install the Zoom app to your phone or go online and google Zoom.us.
At 7 pm Thursday evening open up the app or website and join our meeting with the meeting ID 402-391-0543. This is not a phone number, it is the ID of the meeting I am setting up. You can join with or without video, depending on your preference and if your house has been picked up in the last month. As with any online meeting, try to remember to mute yourself when you are not talking.
That’s it. Just that easy. Hopefully we will only need to resort to this virtual meeting for a week or two and then we will be back to normal.
See you Thursday night.
In this time of uncertainty, we can all feel a bit frightened and alone. As more and more of our favorite events are called off and we are told to avoid social gatherings, perhaps the answer can be partially found in online group meetings. While our own group is committed to meeting as frequently as possible over the next few months, nobody knows for sure what the future holds. To supplement or substitute for our “in person” weekly meetings, DBSA national office offers a wide variety of times where you can get help. Just go to: https://www.dbsalliance.org/support/chapters-and-support-groups/online-support-groups/
There are groups listed that meet online every day of the week. Just sign up and log in!
Dr. Dave Carver visited the group on Sept. 19 to share details about solution-focused therapy, also know as positive psychology. Dr. Carver also provided some examples of how individuals can use this strengths-based method to address everyday stressors and problems.
Solution-focused therapy is based around the concept of setting short term goals that you can accomplish quickly, so you feel you’re making progress in life. This method emphasizes the tentative, time-limited, setting-specific, non-pathological nature of most problems, which normalizes the act of coping with them.
Even if you’re not working with a solution-focused therapy provider, you can practice goal setting. Be sure your goals are measurable and attainable.
Some questions you can ask yourself to get on the right track include:
To locate a solution-focused therapy provider, visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/solution-focused-brief-therapy, and search by zip code. You can also ask your employer about options within your Employee Assistance Program, or ask your current medical providers for recommendations.
Learning to love yourself amid a sea of critical media messages and other societal pressures can be difficult. Starting the journey of self acceptance now will benefit you immediately and help brighten your future.