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Coping during challenging times requires positive mindset

The uncertainty COVID-19 has brought into our lives has brought with it anxiety, fear and a change in lifestyle.

Truth and Grace Counseling owner Bonnie Haack suggests people limit their social media and media intake and only look at reputable sources.

“You can really easily get taken down a road of fear by watching all of the different things in the media, but still stay informed. You want to stay informed and make sure you’re looking at reputable sources for your information,” she said.

Haack said to try focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can’t. For example, you can control your own social distancing, but you cannot control the amount of toilet paper at the store or how long this will last.

Taking care of your body by eating healthy and taking care of your mind are important during this pandemic. She also wants people to maintain relationships.

“Try to maintain your connection with relationships online or through other means,” she said.

For example, Tea’s cruise night and bear hunts are keeping people in contact with each other while following social distancing guidelines. She has also seen a lot of people out walking.

Getting out of the house for walks and fresh air can help people from going stir crazy with the same people at home.

“If people need to go take a walk on their own, or if they need to get out in the backyard or play with a pet or something, just to get away from the people that they’re living with, just to get some distance within the house is OK, too,” she said.

Haack has heard from many parents who are feeling stressed about school. She said the schools are learning right along with parents on how to do the online/at-home schooling.

“Some parents are quite stressed about it, but I don’t think they need to be. I think take a couple steps back and do what they can do. I think the school is doing a really good job with their emails of explaining to parents, we’re learning, too,” Haack said. “I’m trying to tell the parents to tone down their need to over-control the schooling part and let the kids have a little fun, too. That’ll help them stay mentally healthy if they can have a little fun, too.”

For those with anxiety about going to the grocery store, Haack suggested they order groceries online and pick them up, or ask someone to help them get their groceries, especially if they have an immune issue. For those who are usually healthy, they need to have a positive mindset.

“Keep that positive mindset that I’ve prepared for this and I’ll get my items and I’ll be safe. Keeping those positive cognitions in mind rather than what is negative about what is going on,” she said. “I can control my actions. I can wash my hands. I can clean my body well. I can do all these things to take precautions. They’re giving themselves credit for all the things that they’re doing to take precautions.”

She also encourages a positive mindset at home. Haack said many people are thinking “I’m stuck at home, I’ll get sick, I’ll run out of things.”

“They really need to shift their thoughts to ‘I’m safe in my home and I can spend time with my family. I’ve prepared for this and I will use my items wisely. I have everything I need right now,’” she said. “They’re using positive cognition rather than these negative cognitions that help them keep them in a negative mindset.

Truth and Grace Counseling is located at 125 West First St. in Tea, and can be reached at 605-777-1898.


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