Impact of Social Distancing on Well-Being

Many people are facing unprecedented challenges at home including financial strain, unemployment, fear of illness and difficulty adjusting to the “new normal.” During these trying times, Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG) is here to support you in staying healthy, both physically and mentally. In collaboration with Behavioral Health PLLC, here are some tips to help you maintain your well-being while social distancing.

  • Create a daily schedule: When things feel out-of-control or unknown, anxiety can escalate. Regain a sense of control by creating predictability and stability in your daily routine. Get up at the same time and go to sleep at the same time each day. Take a shower and get dressed in the morning. Try to eat meals at around the same time each day.
  • Maintain healthy sleep habits: Pay attention to your circadian rhythm, your natural body clock. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Open windows during the day and keep your home dark at night. Try to resist the urge to stay up later than normal watching television or movies.
  • Exercise daily: Worry and stress can contribute to physiological changes in your body that prepare it for movement. Exercise can mitigate symptoms of stress in the moment as well as contribute to improved mood and decreased stress on after the fact. Check out some of the free exercise apps available right now or consider taking a 20-minute walk around the block.
  • Go outside daily: Research has shown that being outdoors in nature can boost mood. It’s also helpful to change your scenery and continue moving throughout the day.
  • Practice self-care: This may normally be at the bottom of your to-do list, but right now it’s more important than ever. Participate in activities that are fulfilling and rejuvenating to you. Practice mindfulness, meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga or reading. Anything that you enjoy and gives you a sense of peace will help.
  • Stay connected to the world around you: We all know the feeling of losing track of the date or time on a vacation; that’s fun when you’re on the beach, but less helpful in our current climate. In the morning, ground yourself in the present, look at the calendar, make yourself aware of the date and time. Pay attention to the news enough to be informed but resist the urge to check constantly for updates. Stay connected and social with communities and organizations with which you’re normally involved through video conferencing and taking advantage of live streaming and other efforts.
  • Stay connected socially: Social connection is foundational to well-being and mood maintenance. It’s very important to stay in touch with friends and family during this time. Even if you’re not a tech person, now is the time to learn.
  • Continue to enjoy things: Allow yourself to enjoy small daily experiences. Negative thoughts and feelings can become more overwhelming if we ruminate on them. Give yourself a break by engaging your mind actively in enjoyable tasks, a favorite movie or reading a new book. Allow yourself to have fun while cooking your favorite dinner or spending extra time with your kids.  Identify things for which you are grateful. Allow for space of hope.   

While the future is unknown, the steps you take each day can contribute to a safer tomorrow for yourself and the world around you. Remember, we are all in this together.

If you are in need of additional support or professional assistance, please take a look at the following resources.

10 Comments

  • dave oremus says:

    Great advice. Thank You

  • Sabine Brautigan says:

    While I have good days and bad days I already do a lot of these helpful tips to keep myself well physically as well as mentally. I dont always succeed but tomorrow is always another day. Thank you for your continued care.

  • Ranbir Sodhi, M. D. says:

    Very helpful comments.
    I notice sales of alcohol has gone up. It’s not good idea to drink too much to alleviate anxiety. Alcohol will not help psychological issues. It will make them worse and disturb your sleep pattern.

  • Eva Baldwin says:

    I am elderly and live alone with my dog. I do not have any living family members. Social contacts have always been an important part of my life, which I really miss now. I don’t want to impose on friends who have families. I do have physical problems so can’t be active as I used to be. but I do what to keep a positive frame of mind, which seems to be ebbing. Do you have any suggestions for an 86 Yr Old female to ” stay alive?”

  • James W Rolla says:

    I definitely have anxiety and panic attacks.. I got sick and then my mother passed away and now this virus.. b good just to have some one to talk to that understand.

  • Ann Friend Harris says:

    So very grateful for your concern of the well being of your patients. Thank you for this list of reminders. You are an exceptional group.

  • John Meek says:

    Every thing is fine other than I find it impossible to fall asleep no matter how tired I am, I exercise during the day and eat healthy, ive taken over the counter sleep aids to no avail, I don’t think I’m depressed, sometimes anxiety

  • Marshall Campbell says:

    The last three weeks are surreal, media and real world events do not mirror what is playing out in the streets, as I listen to the sounds and the noises, from airplanes, trains, automobiles, and all the different sounds emergency response vehicles that switch the focus to the alarming sounds that is piercing to traumatizing effects, it is true that the world itself is rolling over a new way for all its living creatures and everyone on the planet earth is changing in miracle flashes, and the wild, wild west is back in a strong way all around us. Best regards LOVE *MARSHALL

  • Steve Casper says:

    Good information and keep up the good work.

  • STEVEN ABELL says:

    yOUR INFORMATION WAS VERY HELP FUL. I AM A WIDOWER OF A 55 YR. MARRIAGE. MY WIFE DIED OF PARKINSON LAST YEAR AND I ATTENDED A GRIEF GROUP FOR 6 WEEKS.

    I AM CLOSE TO MY SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS AND CALL ONE MEMBER EVERY 3 DAYS. SOME WEEKS ARE QUITE LONELY AS I GO DAYS WITH NO SOCIAL CONTACT EXCEPT THOSE I MEET WHILE WALKING MY DOG. THANK YOU, S.A.

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