This material was written by a DCCCD licensed counselor. All views expressed in this piece are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of DCCCD.
So, we’ve had several weeks of shelter-in-place, and guess what?
The thrill is gone.
We’re over the novelty of it — and it looks like we’re here for at least another month! So, how do we deal with living like this for a little longer than maybe we previously hoped, and still stay mentally healthy?
I suggest you follow the 3 R’s: Routine, Ritual and Recreation.
Routine means you generally follow the same schedule every day (at least Monday through Friday). Having a schedule gives structure to your day, which people need. You feel safer when you know what’s going to happen and when: It’s morning, so I do this; it’s after lunch, so I do that. It also keeps you from forgetting important things. And if you’re like me, it’s getting hard to remember what day it is! So, if there is something you do consistently on Mondays, and something else you do every Wednesday, it’s easier to remember to do those things and easier to remember what day it is.
Ritual means you make some moments or activities more meaningful, more emotionally satisfying. If you have a morning ritual, it eases you into the day. If you make each meal an occasion (or at least one meal a day), that moment becomes a small event that both gives you a small “vacation” and makes the day better. If you have a ritual that marks the end of your workday or school day, that gives you a sense of transition of purpose and atmosphere if not of place. At bedtime, rituals get the mind and body ready to rest. Rituals give you emotional clues of meaning, purpose and transition.
Recreation means that you build in moments and activities that help you relax; restore you physically, emotionally or spiritually; that “re-create” you. These can be built in during the day, as breaks, or at/after lunch to “reload” for the rest of the day. Or maybe you set aside a little time after the day is over, to celebrate the success of the day. The weekend should continue to be a time to focus on enjoyable, relaxing or invigorating activities (fun!) that will give the week a clear ending and a time to look forward to.
It appears that we will be here for a while. If you follow the 3 R’s, you will have a life that is more comfortable, stronger, more sustainable – and more enjoyable and satisfying. Stay home, stay healthy and enjoy!
Each DCCCD campus is home to a professionally licensed counselor who wants you to know we’re all in this together. It’s okay to say that you’re not okay! Our team of counselors is working remotely, but we’re still available to talk openly about your mental health and well-being. Please feel free to contact us if you need help during these challenging times.
DCCCD’s Professional Counselors
Brookhaven College Counseling Center
Call us at 972-860-4673 or email email@example.com.
Cedar Valley College Counseling Center
Call us at 972-860-5280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastfield College Counseling Center
Call us at 972-860-7270 or email email@example.com.
El Centro College Counseling Center
Call us at 214-860-2113 or email ECCStudentCounseling@dcccd.edu.
Mountain View College Counseling Center
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Lake College Counseling Center
Call us at 972-273-3333 or email email@example.com.
Richland College Counseling Center
Call us at 972-238-3771 or email Counseling-RLC@dcccd.edu.
Community Mental Health Resources
If you feel the need to speak to someone outside the district, please explore the many community mental health resources available in our area:
- North Texas Behavioral Health Authority can help pay for community psychiatric, mental health and substance abuse services — please call 214-366-9407.
- Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas — please call 214-828-1000.
- National Veterans Crisis Line — please call 800-273-8255 and press 1.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline —please call 800-799-7233.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline — please call 800-656-4673.
- Message 741741 from anywhere in the United States to text with a trained crisis counselor. Heads up — standard messaging rates may apply.
It’s okay to say. If you see something that could be helpful to someone else, spread the word and share this information. Even if you’re not dealing with a specific mental health issue during the COVID-19 crisis, chances are someone you know is.