Some thrive in new routine while others suffer during pandemic

Posted at 5:25 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 20:55:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Purple tier restrictions enacted so close to the holidays hit San Diegans hard.

We're in month eight of the pandemic and cases of anxiety and depression are sky high.

Licensed Psychologist Dr. Michelle Carcelexplained what is causing these strong emotions, "the longevity of it, the continuous stress that we have to endure, the change of our lifestyles."

The CDC reports during late June of 2020, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

Dr. Carcel said it's important to step back and realize what and how you're thinking. "A lot of times we just believe our thoughts, we just believe what we're thinking and that can be very dangerous right now. We need to question what we're thinking, step back and go, 'gosh! Is this really fair to myself?' And use curiosity and compassion."

Some have canceled holiday plans with family, due to the rise in coronavirus cases. Others feel guilt and fear of spreading the virus.

"When we feel guilt, guilt is a transition emotion, it can really help us identify something that we need to learn from or change from or grow from," Dr. Carcel said.

"Using that as a stepping stool, a tool, 'Am I feeling guilty because I can't spend time with my family?' If that is the case, 'Why am I doing it?' Most likely you are doing it because you are protecting your loved ones and you care about your loved ones. That is a wonderful and noble thing. Put yourself in a very good position with that thought."

Dr. Carcel said a new study shows those who adapted their routine to fit the pandemic are thriving.

One adaptation is instead of attending a spin class, going bicycle riding outdoors with a socially distanced group.

Others are visiting with friends outside at a distance instead of indoors.

"This isn't what we actually want our lives to look like, however we do see an end in sight," Dr. Carcel said alluding to vaccine trials that are showing promising results.

Dr. Carcel said the better we adapt to the way things are currently, the easier it will be to snap back to our old norms when restrictions are lifted.