Hello everyone! While I’ve been in quarantine, I have been finishing my journalism degree at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York,. I actually became interested in this field while contributing to my television show, Copycat Killers, on REELZ. I’m still a practicing psychologist, working here remotely in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Here in New York City as the restrictions are slowly lifted, I also have concerns that a second wave of infections may appear in the fall.
To help everyone during these challenging times, I have compiled a list of 10 recommendations to help combat the stress and fear that often accompanies the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll see them at the end of my blog.
Wishing you all my very best during these challenging times,
BUZZ SHARES THE NON-PROFITS AND CHARITIES HE SUPPORTS
I am a strong supporter of The Read it Again Bookstore which is located in Monticello, NY. Its mission is to provide adults with programs in reading, writing and communication skills necessary for them to achieve their personal and professional goals. The store’s inventory is donation-based and is run by volunteers. They have a different category of books on sale each month, so check them out.
One of the agencies I consult for is Selfhelp, a not-for-profit human service agency directed toward seniors and other vulnerable populations in the New York metropolitan area. Selfhelp continues to provide community-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Friends of Middletown Thrall Library is another used bookstore I support. They are on Depot Street in Middletown, NY. This non-profit is dedicated to supporting the Middletown Thrall Library, located right next door. Proceeds from the sale of secondhand books, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes help the library acquire new materials and equipment.
Here are the recommendations I promised…
Learning to Cope With the Stressor of COVID-19 Uncertainty
Dr. J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner
The Coronavirus restrictions are starting to lessen but for many of us, fear of catching the virus continues to be overwhelming. And for good reason, our new “normal” is still a place of uncertainty. Below I have provided my psychological recommendations, as we begin to regain our former lives day by day.
- Fear of the Coronavirus is compounded by isolation and loneliness. Keeping in contact with family and friends is essential for your own emotional stability. Knowing that others also feel what you are feeling, helps to confirm that you are not alone. When people feel supported, they are more likely to feel empowered.
- Avoid Coronavirus information overload. If continual news on Coronavirus contributes to making you feel overwhelmed and powerless, then turn it off. Step away from your news source and focus on what you have the power to control within your own environment. Structure a set time when you will listen to the daily news, and afterwards direct yourself on to another task.
- Relaxing is an important part to our emotional well-being. Whatever provides you with pleasure and escape from your everyday stressors should be an important part of your day. Develop a hobby, read a book, exercise or watch a television movie.
- Don’t let your fears of catching the Coronavirus rule your movements. Learn to live and work with your fear every day. To remain isolated alone with your thoughts will eventually cause emotional damage. Work to control your fear with logical reasoning and motivate yourself to venture out based on the positives that the outside world has to offer.
- A great goal for us all during the Coronavirus is to reach out to those who are suffering. Consider volunteering at a food pantry, a senior center or homeless drop-in program. These acts of kindness not only make you feel better, but they remind everyone that we are fighting this virus together as a team.
- The way to control the infection rate is through education, consistent individual behavior and by providing public accessibility to face masks as a form of protection. Purchasing face masks in bulk for those in need, is one direct way an individual person, group or agency can help control the infection rate within their community.
- The Coronavirus has forced many of us to develop our interpersonal skills remotely, which includes interviewing remotely for potential employment, dating and general social interaction. However, for many seniors the computer and internet programs continue to be challenging to learn and navigate. Consider volunteering within this population to provide the necessary training, so they as well as anyone in need can remotely access face to face contact.
- Elevated COVID-19 fears can happen when we start to ruminate within our own thoughts. This can often occur when we are alone or talking with others about the virus. For your own emotional stability, fight against your own automatic negative thinking, which stands for A.N.T.s! We all have them, so be aware and fight your A.N.T.s. with a positive supportive outlook for yourself and when speaking with others. It will not only help you, it will also be helping the people you engage with.
- It is highly possible Coronavirus restrictions may occur again in our near future. However, this time you will be more prepared. Please consider the many ways in which you were able to adapt to the restrictions and in spite of them, accomplish goals. We all do better in life by building on our past experiences, if a second wave of restrictions happen, you will be prepared.
- Finally, don’t lose your vigilance. Protection fatigue can eventually set in. This is a very real human pneumonia that can often occur overtime. We all grow weary when our innate human needs are faced with restrictions. Wear your mask, keep your 6 feet distance and wash your hands frequently. You are not only protecting yourself but numerous others