Education and Well-Being Resources

Ideas and tools to use at home

Carolyn Riker

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Photo by Edi Libedinsky on Unsplash

I am a licensed mental health counselor in private practice. It’s been a surreal time of regrouping and finding my new normal. Like many, I had hoped by mid-April I’d be back to my office.

However, it looks like social distancing will be in place much longer.

During the last few weeks I’ve been offering telehealth options. In addition, I’ve been thinking more about what works for me, and perhaps how it can help you as we all adapt to the changes.

Managing space, schedules and routines

Give each other space. Some people who are introverted and highly sensitive might be overwhelmed by the amount of increased socializing with everyone home. On the other hand, extroverted people might need more attention.

This disparity can be frustrating for both. Identifying your needs and sharing them with your family members will help. Honoring and respecting our differences is quite the art of putting love into action.

Personally, as an INFP, and a highly sensitive person, I’m slowly leaning towards at least an hour or two each day where I’m off limits to everyone!

Consider creating a family calendar. This has helped us to identify who is doing what and when, namely online.

We’ve got two calendars going: Google Calendar and a printed version taped to a door in our kitchen.

It’s been super helpful to check when I should/shouldn’t schedule clients, the need for extra quiet in our home — out of respect and for privacy during our respective online calls and online classes.

Reestablish a new family routine. This might seem very basic but having a semi-set time for meals, snackage, schoolwork, playtime, working from home and quiet time can really foster a little more predictability and therefore comfort.

A schedule is like a loosely knit shawl that we can wrap around our shoulders.

We all enjoy our routines but now more than ever we need them.

Teens are struggling without their peers.

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Carolyn Riker

Carolyn's latest book, The Colors I Hear, is now available!