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Hi, my name’s Mandy Donnelley. I’m a Licensed Clinician at the Thriveworks Virginia Beach (Great Neck) location. I actually just moved to Virginia Beach. So I am new with Thriveworks and I’m new to Virginia Beach.

I was asked to answer, “How do I relax mentally during COVID-19, this pandemic?” And the first thing that stood out was the fact that I’m not relaxed at all times. I don’t think anybody is. I think it’s really normal to not be. There’s a lot of different feelings that I’ve been having as I’m sure you know, everybody has been. So really just trying to remind myself that it’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay and just take things, you know, one minute at a time and then day by day.

So I really try to just remind myself of that. I have a lot of visual reminders around my house that kind of speak towards, to that, of being more mindful. I’m a really visual person, so I like seeing you know, little quotes or pictures that kind of help me to remember, “Hey, just kind of focus on right now and today.” That’s been really helpful.

I also do mindful practices, especially when walking, you know, I walk my dog. And I’ve been super lucky that it’s been really nice weather here. I’m very fortunate. It’s been like 80 and sunny blue skies, quite beautiful. And that I’m able to walk and still, you know, keep a safe distance from others. But I use or just kind of do my own mindful practices while doing that. Really just kind of focusing on what I see around me and just taking that all in or I’ll use my insight timer, phone application. And there’s just like some guided courses on there that I’ll do too.

So that’s been helpful. Walking and just being outside has been really great. And I know that’s not the case where everybody can do that. So I guess, you know, if, if it’s not great weather out or not okay for me to go out then I’m really just focusing on doing some kind of exercise inside. Maybe something on YouTube or Pop Sugar Fitness has some good exercises, but just getting moving has been really helpful for me. And just taking care of myself, doing things that I know are good for me, helpful for me.

So I know that I feel just more balanced if I eat healthier. I’m just eating vegetables and fruits, like trying to keep things balanced. Like I said, walks, reading. I’m a huge reader. I love reading. That’s been really helpful. And then talking to my supports you know, calling people or talking to my husband or talking to my dog. He listens really well. My dog, no, I’m kidding. My husband too.

But yeah, just talking with people that I know are supports, reaching out because it can feel really isolating and lonely if you’re quarantining or staying inside. So really just trying to self-care, do things that make me feel good. And again, just taking things day by day, not focusing on things in the future.

My routine has been disrupted as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. And so just trying to stick, get onto a new routine. That’s been helpful as well. And then also doing some things too that I, if I know I can help in some way you know, with people I know or even reaching out to organizations, that’s also been kind of helpful cause then that makes me feel like I’m helping in some way too, which has just been helpful for me mentally.

You know, just doing what I can. So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing. And hang in there. Nice talking to you. Bye.