*Written by Guest Blogger: Monica Shahbaznia Avlarez, PhD*
Dr. Monica Shahbaznia is a clinical psychologist who has been guiding families, couples, adults, teens and kids for over 22 years.
We seem to be receiving an equal dose of strict recommendations from our civic leaders and top scientists as well as uncertainty from friends and neighbors. We are all in this together. You may feel alone but know you are doing your part to stay healthy and keep those you love healthy as best as possible. Still… concern looms and this can cause stress and anxiety which can absolutely take its toll on our immune system. Yes, STRESS can weaken our immune system and that is EXACTLY what we don’t want to happen since it is vital that we keep our immune system STRONG at this time.
So, let’s check on our level of anxiety or stress and take inventory of some of the negative thoughts that may be on your mind and how to re-frame your perspective to create a sense of calm and control. This takes having a HEALTHY MINDSET.
I saw a a wonderful post on Facebook that I would like to share with you in addition to a few tips to create and maintain a healthy mindset.
1.START EACH DAY WITH A BLESSING
This could be a meditation, a time of prayer, a moment to count your blessings with your children before starting the homeschool day, etc. Starting the day off with a blessing can set a tone of tranquility, peace, and empowerment.
2.RE-FRAME YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Identify and delete those negative thoughts and rerecord empowering thoughts. They are ideas I saw on Facebook:
“I’m stuck at home”.CHANGE THAT TO: “I get to be SAFE at home and spend time with my family”.
“I will get sick”.CHANGE THAT TO:I will self-Isolate (or keep safe distances from others) and wash my hands. This will significantly DECREASE my chances of getting sick”.
“I will run out of items at home during self-isolation”. CHANGE THAT TO: “I have prepared for this and I will use my items wisely. I have everything I NEED for now”.
"Everything is shutting down. I’m panicking”. CHANGE THAT TO:The MOST IMPORTANT places, such as medical centers, pharmacies, and grocery stores will remain open”.
"There is too much uncertainty right now”. CHANGE THAT TO: “While I can’t control the situation around me, I CAN control my actions. Doing breathwork, calling loved ones, getting enough sleep and proper nutrition, prayer, and doing activities I love at home will all help during this time”.
PLEASE STAY HOME. STAY HEALTHY.
Dr. Monica Shahbaznia
Monica Shahbaznia Alvarez, PhD