Dr Moon Kitty #5: Murder Hornet Edition

July 09, 2020

Dr Moon Kitty #5: Murder Hornet Edition

Hello Again! This is a special edition Dr. Moon Kitty post, because I think we are all feeling a little off with all of the big changes that have been happening in the last several months.

So a global pandemic, “murder hornets”, and large-scale protests in the streets. That’s a lot. One of the hardest things to manage when things are already stressful is that some of the coping skills we would normally use to handle things like this can become even harder—like reaching out to our support network for comfort and stability. It’s difficult to get that cozy hug when you need to stay 6 feet apart, yes? Or exercising at the gym. Difficult when gyms are closed and/or you need to stay 6 feet apart in a place that isn’t…well…6 feet apart.

This post will, therefore, be focused on how to stay balanced during a time when lots of other troubling things are going on in the world:

  • Even if you are working from home or have lost your job due to the pandemic, continue to enforce a schedule for your day. That means that if you normally would leave the house by 8:00, go pick up breakfast, and head to the office, keep setting that alarm and going through the motions, even if getting breakfast is picking up something off the table and eating in another room. One of the things that can lead to feelings of hopelessness when schedules change dramatically is feeling as if there isn’t any structure to your day. Used to going out to eat with your colleagues for lunch? Set up a Zoom meeting lunch where you all chat while you eat your respective lunches at your own homes. And don’t fall into the ‘pj all day’ trap. Used to getting up, putting on that wig, wearing a nice outfit, and making some effort to feel good about your appearance? KEEP DOING IT! It was always about you feeling great in your own skin, not anyone else anyway, right? Although it may feel strange and formal at first, keeping those connections and timetables can provide a stability that may be lacking by not having an actual office to go to.
  • Find ways to exercise in your own space. There are a couple fun Pilates and Yoga channels on Netflix and Youtube that I really enjoy that only require you, a mat, and a floor. You can even include other family members or people who live with you and make it a bonding activity. In addition to getting physical activity in a way that isn’t interacting heavily with other people outside, you can always benefit from the deep breathing and stress relief that this type of exercise offers.
  • Keep reaching out to others via technology. Mom doesn’t know how to FaceTime? Help her set it up so that you can see each other’s faces while you talk. With modern technology at our fingertips, communicating with other people is pretty easy, even if you aren’t used to the method of communication. Say it together—WE ARE ADAPTABLE HUMANS! WE GOT THIS!
  • Take time to build a physical relationship with yourself. I know this is going to sound weird, but we’re human (and I, for one, am a pretty touch-oriented human) and times like these for those of us who are physical communicators can be especially trying. So make time to get comfortable in your own body. One thing that I like to do is to really focus on mindfulness when I shower and then put lotion on. Like “Hey Left Arm! Haven’t paid much attention to all that you do for me lately, but damn! You really rock it at lifting stuff!” “Hey hair! Looking great today. I’m glad I followed the instructions for keeping this wig rockin!”…Sounds hokey, but the truth is that if it is difficult to be touched by other people safely, sometimes increasing mindfulness and attention to your own body-mind relationship can ease the stress a little.

In general, as always, I hope you all are making it through safely and happily (and some of you may even be thriving in this social distancing landscape, so good on you!), but if you find that you aren’t, reach out to other people, and if those people can’t help, don’t be afraid to reach out to professional helpers. A lot of them are doing teletherapy right now, so you can still get the benefit of your therapy session from your living room.

Until next time. Logging off,

Dr. Moon Kitty




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