I will be live on WEMU tonight at 6 pm. The information is below:
WEMU is planning a special LIVE one-hour program Monday 3/30/20 at 6pm. Lisa Barry will be joined by Ann Arbor psychologist Dr. Rob Pasick and Michigan Med Dr. and co-founder of Ann Arbor Open Meditation, Dr. Frank Anderson on the air at 89.1FM and LIVE on our Facebook page. They will talk about staying emotionally healthy during the current health crisis and offer tools to better help you cope. You can submit questions and concerns right now via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Monday evening 888-299-8910 or submit comments watching live on Facebook.
Establishing the New Normal
We all seem to agree on one observation: our world has turned upside down. To cope, we are all trying to establish new routines and it is not easy. I hear complaints such as:
- “I don’t know where the time is going.”
- “Wherever I go in the house, I find something else I need to do.”
- “I don’t know what my priorities are: taking care of myself, taking care of others, or taking care of my community.”
- “I am one of the few people still working but I have so much to do, I’m going crazy.”
Personally, after 14 days of self-isolation, I am finally getting into a routine. I am trying to meet my work responsibilities and at the same time take care of myself, my wife and her 97-year-old mother who has moved in with us, and my family who live both nearby and also far away.
I have been relying on a system which I developed for myself and my clients over many years. I want to share the system to see if this, or something similar, might be helpful. Here is the process:
At the beginning of the day, reflect on what you intend to do and when you intend to do it.
First, write down one thing that you could do today that would make it a good day for you. It could be something you are intending to get done, somebody you want to check in with, a mental state you want to maintain, etc.
Secondly, hour by hour set up a schedule for yourself. Be sure to alternate challenging tasks with pleasurable tasks.
Third, right down, at the most, five things that are important for you to get done today. Be sure to include things for yourself in that list. Do not do more than five or else you will mess up your brain.
At the end of the day or first thing the following morning, reflect on how your day has gone compared to how you intended it to go.
First, take a positive perspective and ask yourself what has been good about the day and record what you have appreciated and been grateful for.
Second, reflect on what you have learned about yourself and about your world. I call this “lessons learned”. These times of uncertainty and anxiety can be extremely productive in terms of learning about who you really are and how you relate to others. Use this time to learn about yourself.
Third, keep a record of what you did for yourself and what you did for others. Under self-care think about things such as taking a walk, exercising, eating well, sleeping well, meditating or praying, etc. In terms of taking care of others, think about who you have helped during the day.
To help with this process, I am including a chart from my book: The Journal for Self-aware.