Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) social distancing recommendations, I have moved my practice temporarily to all telemedicine/phone sessions. I have always loved my job. What could be better than talking to and helping people all day long? When the COVID-19 news started to hit, I was initially nervous about how I could keep seeing my patients and follow the guidelines on social distancing. I decided to try out telemedicine, and after a few sessions, I have to say it’s actually working well! While I miss that face to face interaction, in some ways, telemedicine has more intimacy and immediacy. I get to see people at home or work, and even meet their pets sometimes! My cats enjoy joining the session too as they insist on wandering around my desk. Most importantly, I still get to do what I love which is helping people, and I am able to do my part to slow the spread—especially as things we need to meet in person, such as hand sanitizer and paper towels for hand washing, are in short supply right now. In these hard times, taking care of mental health is more important than ever.
I have one tip for dealing with anxiety about the Coronavirus and that is to start a gratitude practice. All too often in our day to day life, we get swept up in planning and worrying and don’t take the time to appreciate what is going well. I recall a time the week before COVID-19 really hit in the US, when I was feeling a bit grumpy at the end of my workday. I needed to swing by the grocery store quickly before picking up my kids from school. My spring break was filled with appointments, between getting one of my kids braces and the other started with Driver’s Education, and I wished we could just go relax on the beach. Now when I look back on that bit of end of the day grumpiness, I realize how much I took for granted. I knew there would still be milk in the grocery store at the end of the day. I just assumed school for my kids would always be there along with orthodontist appointments and even the dreaded DMV. So today, when I go on a walk around the neighborhood with my kids, I want to take a moment to just appreciate that we are together and to really look at how beautiful the bluebonnets are and to listen to the birds singing. I will remember to be grateful when I go home that there is still milk for supper. I will be grateful for the roof over our head, and above all else, I am grateful that we are healthy and well for now. I wish the same for all of you, at the same time as my heart aches knowing it is not the same for everyone as this virus sweeps through all of our lives.
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Disclaimer: The information in these posts is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. It is not meant to serve as medical advice, and your reading of it does not establish a physician-patient relationship with Dr. Cynthia Benton. If you have any questions about this information, please contact your doctor.