Healthy Coping Skills for Stress

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, these times are making life more difficult for nearly all of us. We identified several areas of negative impact on our emotions and how it can ultimately show up in our behavior. But today let’s take a look at a few things we can do to cope and be proactive while we weather the extended social distancing.

Be You

What “Be You” means is take some time to get in touch with yourself, to identify and reconnect with what makes you… YOU! Make a list, on your phone or the old fashioned paper way, of some of the values you have and how you can still carry those in your community. If you are a naturally generous person then KEEP BEING GENEROUS to people around you. Do you have a gift of making people laugh? Then really grab hold of it and spread some cheer in your neighborhood. Embracing these things about yourself will help keep you grounded and out of too much negative thinking. 


This is easy for some folks, and not so easy for others. Look at it this way… You’re going to be no good to encourage, support, be present for your relationships if you’re a wreck yourself. Be intentional about making time for YOU. What is refreshing to you? Recharging? What gives you energy? The activities you come up with are a great place to start with self-care. 

This is also a great time to focus on eating fresh, nutritious meals when possible and staying fully hydrated. SLEEP!! Sleep is well-documented to reduce stress levels and we ALL need a little less stress in our lives these days, so don’t feel bad about a quick afternoon nap from time to time if it leads to a better you!

Avoid the Panic

Lastly, there seems to be ample opportunity to be alarmed if one just browses the national news feeds on any given day, with headlines often appearing to indicate the “sky is falling”. But it never does… So, we suggest you stay informed and educated during the pandemic but use caution against over-saturating your brain with repetitive negative news feeds or inflammatory op-ed articles/posts.

Here are a few things you can consider doing on your own to keep anxiety and stress at manageable levels:

  • Breathing exercises + Mediation
  • Journaling
  • Spend time in nature
  • Stay connected (isolation often leads us to “stinking thinking”!)

SouthEnd Psychiatry wants you to be well and to feel well in life, but we know these days are especially challenging. We invite you to start a conversation with us, on your terms, in-person or online and want you to know you’re not alone.

3 Ways to Revive Struggling Relationships

We want to talk today about significant others, and how to best nurture a healthy environment for vibrant, growing relationships. While this subject is relevant for any time, it’s particularly important to heed these suggestions now as we’re all living through social distancing. Every relationship has cracks and issues, but living through a pandemic and the stressors which come with it are adding an extraordinary amount of strain to even the most level, healthy relationships.

Schedule Separation

Particularly if you and your significant other are both working from home, it is so important to build areas + times of separation from one another. And having separation in the flow of the day can help too. For example, is there a clear definition between the work day and “family” time? Or does one bleed into the other? Or at dinner, do you just move the papers and laptop out of the way to make room for your plate? More than ever, having a routine which brings a sense of order and structure can be so reassuring to many people, in a world which can seem more chaotic every day. Be sure to separate the mundane, daily, unimportant activity from that which is more sacred, more meaningful, more elevated.

Recognize Efforts

It’s so normal to get lost in our own work and daily activity that we often don’t understand what our partner is doing with the majority of his/her day. We know they “work” or “go to the office” but we often don’t get to observe the pressures, accomplishments, challenges, etc. they encounter. So, make it a point verbalize your appreciation of your partner’s efforts when you see them. Simple acknowledgements can go a long way towards building feelings of empathy and appreciation, for each partner.

Benefit of the Doubt

Here’s the reality: you and your partner are BOTH dealing with increased stress and unpredictability right now. They’re likely emotionally overwhelmed and not trying to annoy you or hurt you. When you communicate, acknowledge his/her feelings, ask questions to help clarify what is being said, and listen to truly understand vs. trying to “defend” or “be right”.

Thank you for reading, please feel free to share with your friends if you found this post valuable. We are always here at SouthEnd Psychiatry to start a conversation and to hear from you!

Keeping Your Head in a Pandemic

While we are all (rightly) focused on the physical and medical impacts and risks of the Coronavirus, SouthEnd Psychiatry will continue to serve the community in the area of mental health as we all navigate through this pandemic. But to get right to the point, the social distancing we’re currently adjusting to is unprecedented and many experts believe many of these measures may be long-term. 

The Impact.

This is worrisome because of the negative, lasting psychological impact it WILL have on many people, regardless of their physical well-being. We have seen a sharp rise in patients struggling with many of these negative feelings they may not otherwise typically experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Boredom

These feelings, when left unchecked and untreated, can lead to destructive behavior as fighting, drinking, physical abuse, chemical abuse, etc. 

It’s also true a few people may actually experience some positive feelings during the pandemic, although it may appear counterintuitive at first glance. A person may enjoy the increased family time and togetherness, or a slower, simpler pace of life. Of course we are all individual and we’re all in our own unique situations. Some factors linked to an individual’s subjective perception are: housing security, employment status, frequency of remote social interaction (FaceTime, Zoom calls), attitudes about relationships, etc. 

Life Got Harder.

What we do know is, for the vast majority of us, life has gotten harder since March and this kind of long-term stress will exaggerate and expose even seemingly minor issues in our lives and relationships, and make just “living” day-to-day an emotional chore. Please start a conversation, we’d love to hear where you are and what you’re feeling.

If you are struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression, or other symptoms, a number of helpful resources exist. SouthEnd Psychiatry offers exceptional and convenient care utilizing a variety of tele-psychiatry, tele-therapy and traditional in-office visits giving you the option to choose how you want to see a psychiatric provider.

Our team of Psychiatric providers are experienced, licensed and nationally certified, professional mental health providers that pride on working with each patient in order to provide team oriented and consistent care at all times.

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