Arts, Coronavirus

Westminster Teachers Explore The Emotional Impact Of The Coronavirus

How should we tackle stress and anxiety right now?
How should we tackle stress and anxiety right now?
Credit Pixabay

The emotional impact of the coronavirus is something that is likely to linger long after shelter-in-place orders are lifted. WABE music contributors and Westminster faculty members Dr. Scott Stewart and Dr. Anna Moore joined “City Lights” by Zoom last week to discuss these feelings.

Moore, who is West Minster’s director of support, helped us explore the journey as we navigate these unique times.

“I’d like to suggest three action steps that we can all take to protect our mental health,” Moore said when asked about the best strategy to not just cope with this situation but to also flourish. “First, list three things you can control. In an uncertain and rapidly changing environment, you need to find things you can control.  Change, in and of itself, sparks our brain to go on alert. …This means, during this pandemic, your brain is far more vulnerable to being on high alert all the time.”

She goes on to say “A second strategy is to focus on what you’re naturally good at. We are being tested and tried in terms of the logistics of our jobs, the care and nurturing of our relationships, and even just the daily routines of life like buying toilet paper and groceries.  It is important that we ground ourselves then in the things we do well.”

Her third tip is to connect.

“We are social beings. When we have a birthday or a life milestone, we gather to share joy. When we have loss and grief, we gather to mourn and console,” she said. “COVID has temporarily taken the most natural human inclination from us. Plan your daily connections with people. Maybe it’s just making a cup of tea and calling your neighbor for a check-in. … But, connect. Be intentional about it.”

To find out more information about seeking help or therapy during this uncertain time, NPR has outlined a list of ways in this article. 

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