Throughout the past week, one of OAC’s most trusted mental health experts – Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS – has been sharing a treasure trove of relevant tips for staying grounded as we all try to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Goldman is a licensed psychologist living in NYC who specializes in health behavior change. She is the Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and is currently in private practice where she sees individual clients pre and post-bariatric surgery.

After giving some excellent #MondayMotivation advice, appearing on the OAC Blog and taking over our Instagram page, we wanted to summarize all the great tips she shared this week so you can apply them to your health journey during these uncertain times.

What to Add to Your Mental Health Toolbox

1) Some Sort of Routine

Your days and nights might look a little different right now. While a lot might have changed, try to keep at least some sort of routine – even if you have to make a new one. Even basic things count, like setting:

  • A wake-up time
  • Mealtimes
  • A shower time
  • A bedtime

2) Knowledge of What’s in Your Control

You can’t control who practices social distancing or what the economy does. You can’t control the spread of COVID-19. So, focus on what you CAN control, such as:

  • Washing your hair
  • Things you consume
  • Self-care
  • Your thoughts and actions

3) Healthy Outlets and Coping Mechanisms

It’s normal to get stressed, anxious or stir-crazy. Channel that energy into healthy outlets to get out of your head, such as:

  • Breathing techniques
  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Calling friends and family
  • Getting fresh air
  • Exercise

4) Self-care, Kindness and Acceptance

It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. These are uncertain and challenging times, and we all respond differently to stress and change. Be gentle and forgiving of yourself if you feel a little less productive. Don’t feel guilty for crying or getting angry once in a while. Most importantly, make self-care a PRIORITY!

5) Mind-Body-Health Awareness

Recognize that your thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all linked. If you dwell on the negative, it will spill over into how you talk and what you do. If you focus on the positive, the same thing will happen!

6) Fresh Air

You can go outside as long as you maintain social distancing and stay safe. Start by opening a door or window. Take your dog for more frequent walks or sit on your porch/patio. Work in your garden, wash your car or go for a quick bike ride.

How Are You Managing Your Mental Health?

Share with others your successes, challenges, reflections and more as they relate to mental health during this time. The OAC has two main outlets for sharing with others: