Dr. Lisa Brenner, Vice Chair of Research, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for the VA and Professor at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, delivered a great presentation about Covid-19 and physical and mental health. She mentioned a phenomenon that happens that when things get tough, we come close together. We can actually become more healthy in the hard times. Sebastian Junger in Tribe discusses the same thing—more dramatically—in times of war. But social distancing in the COVID-19 era is making it difficult for us to come together! Isolation is harmful for both physical and mental health. So her advice is to put together a plan—right away. Here are three ideas:
1. Pay attention to the basics, such as rest, eating well, and incorporating physical activity in your day. External events can negatively affect our thoughts. It’s also true that we can engage in behaviors that have a positive impact on our thoughts.
2. Create schedules and routines. Schedule in physical activity. Create a COVID-free zone during the day for yourself and your family when you silence your phone, social media, and news.
3. Seize the COVID-19 opportunity! Dr. Brenner’s extended family is watching all the movies made by a certain director and ranking them all. What could you do to share experiences and stay connected?
Coping mechanisms can be complex or simple, and vary according to your situation. In her presentation, available upon demand from our website, you can learn more about two great ways to frame the problem, come up with a plan and take action, right away! You may also view Dr. Brenner’s presentation below.