We had the opportunity to talk with Angeline Bottera, clinical psychology PhD student at the University of Wyoming. Bottera provided us with helpful tools for working through our anxieties during the stressful times that we are in. Check out a recap of the resources below!
Mental Health Apps with Evidence-Based Tools
COVID Coach: COVID Coach is designed to help you build resilience, manage stress, and increase your well-being during this crisis. The app is free, secure, and helps connect you to important resources for coping and adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customized tools are available to help you cope with stress, stay sane, stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected, and navigate parenting, care-giving, and working from home while social distancing, quarantined, or sheltered in place. You can track your mood, visualize your progress, and find resources to seek additional help and support. No account or password is required and user data is not collected.
To learn more about COVID Coach and to download the app, visit the website here.
Mindfulness is a large part of acceptance and commitment therapy, working to notice and be aware of internal and external experiences without judgement. A lot of times we sit with our experiences in a place of judgement. Mindfulness works to just bring awareness to thoughts or emotions or your body’s breath/sounds around you (ANYTHING) and notice them without placing judgement on them.
Check out tenpercent.com for a Coronavirus Sanity Guide (FREE) which includes guided meditations, talks, and a weekly newsletter. They also have a podcast that releases every week. Journalist and Ten Percent Happier co-founder Dan Harris speaks with scientists, experts, and other smart folks about how to stay sane in the midst of coronavirus.
Acknowledging that you’re living at home during a crisis trying to work rather than working from home. This means providing space for less productivity.
Very few, if any, of us are not working at 100% right now. Even though we are working from home, that does not mean that we are going to be working in the same way, or at the same rate, as we did pre-COVID19. Acknowledging the stress that the pandemic and the quarantine alters our productivity, and letting yourself have bad days, is okay. While some of us are incredibly lucky to have a job and be able to do our jobs from the safety of isolation, we still have to be kind to ourselves about how the pandemic is affecting us.
Values Clarification and Engaging with Valued Activities Daily
Research shows when we live in line with our values, we feel better. Values clarification is a technique that allows us to better identify our values. Once the values are identified, we can engage in actions that fulfill those values. Our values can change over time, and we don’t have to try to fulfill all of our values full force.
Write down your values and your optimal vision of that domain in your life. For the time being, imagine that anything is possible and do not concern yourself at this juncture with seemingly “insurmountable” barriers. This exercise is designed to cultivate a vision of what you would like your life to be like with respect to living life according to your values.
Check out this website to practice this technique.
Keep a Routine
We are living in a time of deep uncertainty. Creating a routine will help us establish a bit more normalcy back into our lives, providing a sense of safety. Keeping a consistent sleep, eating, and exercising schedule is also an important part of staying physically and mentally healthy.
About Angeline Bottera
Bottera holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity University, a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming and is on track to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming. Bottera has presented research at international and national conferences and has been published in Best Practices in Mental Health and the international research journal, Appetite.