Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma, and has worked with hundreds of people struggling with mental health issues.
Talking Points from Dr. Cira
On How to Cope When “Sheltering In”:
Here are a four practical suggestions for anyone struggling with the experience of being quarantined, aka “sheltering in”:
- Create structure and/or a schedule. Most of us function much more efficiently (and happier!) when we know what’s coming next. So create a loose schedule for yourself. Go to bed and get up at around the same times every day. Have meals at the same times. Creating predictability and consistency will help your nervous system re-regulate to this new normal.
- Alone Time. If you’re sheltering in with your family, make sure to get some alone time. The CONSTANT stimulation from being around your kids and partner all day is likely going to be too much for even the most highly extroverted folks to manage well. So take some time alone. Take an extra long shower. Go for a walk, regardless of the weather. Stay in the bathroom much longer than you actually need to. Do whatever it takes to reduce the amount of noise and constant need of others, even for for short breaks.
- Seek Friends & Family. Alternatively, if you are alone and craving connection, make it happen. Connect via video with friends and family. Ask a neighbor to go on a walk with you every day, (standing 6ft away, of course). Connect with folks online via gaming, social media, etc. Being quarantined does not mean you have to cutoff from civilization.
- Build in Extra Self-Care. Perhaps you had a GREAT self-care routine pre-pandemic and that’s awesome . . . but even if that’s the case, it’s likely not enough now. Try to build in at least an hour every single day. And self-care might look like Netflix if you’re exhausted. But it could also be virtual workouts, meditation, yoga, virtual coffee dates, long, hot baths, special meals, etc. Think about what YOU need during this time and figure out a way to get it done.
Available for Interviews: Dr. Colleen Cira
Dr. Colleen D. Cira, Psy.D. received both her Masters and Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and has been practicing in the field since 2001. Dr. Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC a boutique group practice with locations in Chicago and Oak Park that specializes in Women’s Issues/Health and Trauma. Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.
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