City of Plantation Podcast

Episode 26 - Dr. Teahan - COVID and our Mental Health

September 30, 2020 City of Plantation
City of Plantation Podcast
Episode 26 - Dr. Teahan - COVID and our Mental Health
Show Notes Transcript

Thank you for listening to the City of Plantation podcast. In this episode, we are pleased to have Dr. Teahan joining us for an in-depth discussion regarding CVOID-19 and our Mental Health. Dr. Tehan is a mental health clinician with over 30 years of experience in the mental health field. Dr. Teahan discusses the sociological and psychological dynamics we are seeing as a result of measures we have taken to combat the spread of COVID-19. She'll also analyze the effects locks-downs and quarantine have had on our children. This Podcast is aimed at keeping the residents of Plantation informed of events and important information happening throughout our city. Please subscribe to this podcast, as we will be producing new episodes weekly.

Guest: Dr. Teahan
Hosts: Cary Blanchard and Ezra Lubow
Production: Ezra Lubow
Music: Oakwood Station c/o Epidemic Sounds
Art: The City of Plantation

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Published: Sep. 10, 2020 @12AM Edit

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the city of plantations podcast. I am Carrie Blanchard, battalion chief of public affairs for the plantation fire department. Thank you for tuning in our podcast is designed to keep you up to date on all the latest happenings and activities in about and around the city of plantation on our episodes. We talk directly with the leaders decision makers and the movers and shakers who make plantation the great city that it is

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to another episode of the city of plantation podcast. Carrie and I are pleased to have dr tin in the studio today. Who's going to speak with us about some of the dynamics, the sociological and psychological dynamics of the COVID pandemic and its effect on our communities and our children. Dr. Tin has been a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Florida since 1982. She currently serves as the associate Dean with Barry university school of social work. As an educator, her philosophy is ingrained in a trauma informed strength and resiliency perspective with focus on integrity, service and advocacy. She has over 40 years of extensive practice experience in child and family health care , disparities, grief, and traumatic loss and critical incident response. She's the clinical director of Palm beach gardens police department, Boca Raton police department, and both Broward and Palm beach counties, clinical incident, stress management teams. And we will get into a little bit more of what that entails as we go through the show, but dr. T and thank you very much for joining us today. Thanks .

Speaker 1:

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Awesome. Yeah . Welcome. Thanks for taking the time. Um, so we wanted to talk about the effects it's having on people, you know, as we progress through this pandemic, what are some of the social logical dynamics we're dealing with? I think that's a really great question. And I think one of the, I , I want to kind of explain, I think when we first started with this , um , journey, we almost took it like we take hurricanes, you know, how we have hurricane parties. I even heard that there was pandemic parties happening. Cause I don't believe that as a , um, a country, we really understood the full effect of what was going to happen. But I think as a reality has set in what really has happened in terms of sociologically and certainly psychologically is that our total worldview has been disrupted. And what I mean by that is that everything that we have known as normal is no longer normal anymore. And , um, our secondary resources, things like community resources and, and all of the other systems, so to speak that we interface with every day, we're also disrupted. So I think what that create is, is a sense of , um , fragmentation and for all of us a sense of not controlling our own lives. And I think when we feel that we're out of control, that means that we feel that we have no choices and no options, and that really starts to isolate us. And I think eventually that's kind of exactly what happened is we started having almost like a fear response. And for me being a grief counselor at heart, it really speaks to the grief of this, the loss of this that we have lost our normal responses, our normal support systems. And , um, we had to silo and I think there was a sense of isolation that occurred. And for human beings, that's scary. We actually are obviously social by nature and connections are critical to us. So I think that that probably, I would think would be one of the major responses that we had. And , um, and some of the biggest fears that have occurred because of this .

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because the isolation wasn't just from our jobs and our coworkers and our friends, it was also from family, you know , Carrie and I have discussed this amongst ourselves because Carrie went, what eight months without seeing your , your mother

Speaker 1:

Six months, I finally was able to see her, but six months it was difficult for me, but she's 88 years old. And, you know, as she declines, it's just makes it worse because we're not there to bring her back to the situation. So socially she was isolated . They're all isolated. Exactly. I feel bad for everybody, but, and I know that we had to keep her safe, but socially it doesn't compute and, or culturally, because we , we all come, we don't enter experiences in a vacuum. You know, we bring all our experiences, our values and who we are. And so this actually, again, not disrupt, not only disrupted practical aspects of our life, but it disrupted our, our own values, our beliefs, our culture , um , we couldn't connect with family. And so the isolation isn't just that, you know, we had to stay at home or where mass is that we couldn't reach out, or we felt that we couldn't reach out. And then we had to , um, enter into this kind of virtual world of reality that for many of us, and for certainly most, a lot of our elders, for example, Carrie , like your mom, who's had no experience perhaps with computers, I'm assuming. Um, so when we talk about, well, how do we adapt to this? And the response was, well , we adapt through this virtual world that also became well, that couldn't , that wasn't possible for everyone. So how do we then reach out to members of our families who have no awareness, no knowledge of this virtual reality. And again, it creates another layer of isolation. And this disruption, I think in our worldview is probably, I think the pandemic, one of the most basic two are our human need. And because, you know, as we move through this, I I'm assuming maybe you'll ask me, so, you know , how will we work on this and then yell out , right ? And you'll hear me talking about that, of all the research that has been done, it's about connections. And so the very thing that is a solution to all of our frustrations is the very thing that was disrupted. And that is our ability to connect with each other. Um, and not just emotionally, but literally physically, you know, being able to touch, hug our family and friends and, and interact with our colleagues. So I believe that that disruption really is at the heart of the pain. And I , and I, I think the grief of this, the loss of

Speaker 2:

Right. And do you think that that has, and this might come across as a controversial question? I certainly don't mean it to be, but do you think the reach of this has maybe greater implications than we have directly thought about? Like, and I guess, and again, not trying to create controversy, but obviously we all watched the news and we all know that socially we're in a place we haven't been in for many, many years. And I wonder to myself, if it is amplified by the effects of isolation and mandatory mask orders and restaurants at 50%, and do you believe that that sociological effect on us as an entire society with the additional stresses of having to modify our lives could potentially play into , uh , making this environment more heated, I guess, no question . Right.

Speaker 1:

You know, I'm a social worker by education and so forth. And our belief system is that the personal is PR is public and the personal issues become pub public policy and public issues. So for me , um, you can't really separate that. And although I don't, this isn't about being political, it is about understanding how we as a culture and as a country, respond to people who we , um, expect to offer us, you know , um, guidelines and, and information to Wade through these experiences. And I think another layer of the pandemic is that all of a sudden, it's almost like our Rose colored glasses were removed from us. And, you know, this couldn't happen in our country. Things that we saw was happening in Europe and so forth. Oh, no. If this ever got to the United States, we have our infrastructure in place. You know, people know , understands our legislators, our policy politicians understand , um , it's going to be a more informed and thoughtful response. But the truth of the matter is that we were kind of caught unawares and that I think created another layer of , um, fear because the very people that we were looking to for answers , um, didn't have them. And so I think that, that, that also created some issues in terms of how we, as , uh , as individuals and as the population responded to this . And certainly as Americans , um, you know, we believe in , um , individuality and strength and so forth. And so having mandates put on us, you know, was kind of a difficult thing. There was a , and because I don't think we seriously understood the , the depth and breath of the risk of the pandemic. And it wasn't until much later that I think the reality , um, finally , uh , struck us and we're like, wait a minute, this we're vulnerable here,

Speaker 2:

Have to ask this question and we didn't plan for this. So, but as you're speaking, I'm thinking about it. And a lot of people have compared to pandemic response in some of the European countries that are much more homogenous in culturally homogenous than the United States is we are definitely one of the most diverse and multicultural countries and at a much greater number, right? I mean, comparatively 355, 360 million people in this country. And multicultural I've often thought that many cultures are much more ingrained with the prospect of the nuclear family, right? The grandparents live with the parents who live with the grandchildren. And so a lot of us are our lives revolve around being involved at multiple levels of our families. And that could be geographic as well. There could be areas in the country where that occurs and, you know, and I look at areas like New York city where, you know, most people live in a 400 square foot room, you know , in Manhattan. So they're not experiencing that nuclear family. And so do you think that that plays a role as well to that the fact that we are so diverse, it's made it difficult to maybe tamp down a , an approach to this pandemic?

Speaker 1:

I do . I do. And it's the, it's the , um , strength of our country and it , it also can create , um, I would say disparities because when you try to make , uh , legislation or when you try to create mandates it, ultimately if there's going to be someone who is impacted in an adverse way, because there's no perfect aspect of how , um, create public policy. And so there's always going to be people who can , um, so to speak when through it. And there were also going to be people who may be impacted in an adverse way sometimes because of the legislation or the mandate itself, sometimes because it , um, creates a disparity within there that individual's own values and their own belief system. And in the end, I think that that's part of what happened in terms of us feeling vulnerable. Again, I do think even though there's this diversity in this country, we do have an American sense of culture. So I think there was, if I could use a term, almost a paternalistic kind of response, where we expected mom and dad, so to speak, to know what they're doing and to take care of us. And when mom and dad are saying , um , well, we're not sure. And Oh, by the way, do it this way. Or by the way, do it that way. Then it creates fear and it creates doubt. And so then that sometimes means that people take matters into their own hands and sometimes not to the best , um, to the , sometimes to the detriment of the individual or to others around them. And I think that this is part of that whole , um, you know, suggest, Oh, the whole conversation about, do we wear masks ? Do we, social distance are , you know, is that in print and pinching on our own , um, our know and our own values and so forth. Um, and I think I , so I do think that our own cultures and values always are impacting the decisions we make as to how we respond to certain mandates. And part of that is us making a decision as to whether or not this is a good decision for us individually, for our families and for our community. And I think the pandemic asks a question when push came to shove, are you able to step back a bit and understand that we're all connected and therefore the community has to be considered on this particular situation sometimes regardless of what we may believe.

Speaker 2:

Right. And, you know, I , I've got to say that in the city of plantation and even in most of the cities in Broward County, because we, we certainly travel around and I actually don't live in plantation currently. Um, I think the communities have come together. I think the communities have come together more than they have grown apart during this pandemic. And that's good to see that, you know, kind of gives you hope and it gives you some reassurance and maybe minimize some of that anxiety that you feel as a whole to see people coming together and doing the right thing and , and looking out for each other.

Speaker 1:

Well, I believe that I think , um, not to disparage the media, but I do think that sometimes the messages we receive through social media and regular media platforms oftentimes focus on the negative, but frankly in my world and my work that I do, what I've been blessed with is seeing people's resiliency and seeing how incredible people , um, have what people have done to come together to support each other. And , um, we've had hiccups along the way, but we're human beings and that's just part of who we are. But in the end, what I've seen is a tremendous amount of uplifting and , um, of taking care of each other, worrying about each other and , um , understanding that we're in this journey together. So we're walking it together. And , um, I think that's a beautiful thing and we don't often see that stuff .

Speaker 2:

Right. Right. Well, and sometimes we're not shown that. So sometimes you have to seek it out a little bit. So segwaying into kind of a different question. We know we're dealing with self isolation. We know we're dealing with face to face with our families and our loved ones, our coworkers and our friends. What I don't think we talk about frequently enough is how is this affecting our children who can't, who are not as capable of processing the situation as adults are?

Speaker 1:

I think that's a wonderful question. Children are often the silent majority there and are not really addressed. Um, so I love the question. And , um, there , I think I'm one of the main issues for children is children learn, or they grow and evolve in their personalities and in their , um , lifespan through play and through social interaction with others. And so that disruption of not seeing their friends, this is how they gauge about who they are, who they want to be is by interacting with each other, checking things with each other. Yes, you can do that. No, you can't do that. And so having that disruption , um, is something that we're just now really studying. What are the longterm effects of children not being able to go to school, be together, play together. And , um, there are some studies that are coming out , um, that talk about this and there's still more work to be done. Again. I want to focus on the fact that children are incredibly resilient. And , um, and I think sometimes when we talk about the pandemic, we often talk about the negative aspects of it, but don't often talk about what are some of the positive things that have happened through it. And you mentioned some , um, chief, and I think that part of what I, when I've worked with the kids, I think what I'm seeing is first certainly they are mimicking a lot of what they're seeing as well. So they're going to be grieving. They're going to be scared. They're going to be , um , you'll see sometimes regressive behavior where they may return to a younger age, you know, and you'll see that , um , adolescents you'll often see them isolating more, maybe staying in their bedrooms and, and so forth, not interacting a lot with their families, which is so actually very typical of that , um , that particular age group. Um, you might even see some grades, you know , um, academic fallout from that in terms of kids not necessarily understanding or doing , um, as well through the virtual schooling program, their , their schedules have been disrupted. So a lot of that for kids having a schedule is really important. And so not having that structure can sometimes impact , um, how they respond. But I also think, and let me also just say that, I also want to say that sometimes preexisting situations may also be , um, somewhat highlighted. What do I mean by that? If a child may have had pre pandemic some concerns in terms of anxiety or depression, you might see some short or long term in Flint inflation of that. But , um, one of the things that you might see is actually how children heal and how children respond to crisis. And that is, they're not in their grief. They're not in that, in that pain 24 seven. And I think we often can learn a lot from children because they have this kind of intuitive understanding that if you're in that, you're, you're just reducing your ability to respond. And so you'll see them , um, just, you know, maybe playing or having no care in the world , um, one minute, and then the next minute you'll, you'll see them fearful or crying or, or scared. And it sometimes can be a weird for the family that the parent confusing for the parents are like, what's going on, but this is a child's very natural way, a refueling and kind of getting ready for the next wave of loss or grief. So I think we can learn a lot from kids taking time to refuel and heal. However, in terms of longterm , what we're finding and these in the most recent research we're finding is

Speaker 3:

That if family ,

Speaker 1:

If caretakers can create one of the most safe and stable environment within this reality, then , um, the expectation that kids are actually going to be doing very well through this process in long term is, is really standing up. The other thing is , um, that , uh, they're finding that if you take opportunities for children to have some of interaction with their peers and in a safe, obviously in social distancing way and giving them some opportunity to do that, it , um, it actually creates a proactive and a protective factor and in the end, like anything else and like at any other time, kids mimic what they see. So if we can create a safe response, if we can create open communication and bring them in as part of the decision making or the part of the discussion in the family, I think you'll find that the negative impact of this can be mitigated. And what I mean about bringing him back into the family within their age group and within what's appropriate. Um, I think parents or caretakers could be open to the idea. Look, I'm scared to put together as a family or as a group. Um , we're going to get through this and that's really all the message the kids need. They, they want the important message for them is regardless of the craziness that's happening outside of our nuclear family or our bar family, or of our group, our community, we are in charge, we've got this and you're going to be safe. And I think that's one of the major things. The other piece of it is , um, the children are also learning very important lessons here of compassion and empathy and trusting themselves. And as they see that they're, yes, they're learning that there's a fear out there and they're scariness out there, but there also can be learned. These are opportunities for them to be learning that we help each other, that you can be empathetic and, and , um , helpful to other people and very small ways. So it doesn't take , um, a lot to make a difference in someone's life, write them a note, call them , um, have an interaction with them on the computer. Uh, so I think that there's, there are a lot of opportunities for strengthening a children's opera , uh , control over this situation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I definitely, I mean myself, I'm listening to you and it , that, it's all it , it's very insightful to hear you say this, Andy . And I'm reflecting on my own challenges. My wife and I both work in the first responder field. And , um, we have two young children and we've been confused a lot by their behavior. And what we found in the beginning was when we went home and we discussed our anxieties and our fears that they absolutely zoned in on that. And that's all these zoned in on. And then we realized the error of our ways and thought, okay, we need to change the message in the household, right. When we're discussing things around our children, we need to make sure that they understand that, you know , we're going to make it through this. And because we started getting somewhat McCobb questions from our kids like, daddy, are you going to die from COVID? And so we had to address those and yet still not scare the children, you know , but I think parents absolutely have to be the strength for them in some situations in others. I think you kind of have to let them fly and work it out themselves a little bit too.

Speaker 1:

I agree. And I, I respectfully would refrain that isn't, that you were making a mistake is that maybe the message was just one dimensional at that time, because that's how we were feeling. Right. And so I think the fact that you were able to identify that and broaden that and bring them in as part of that discussion. I think that that is the key. Um, it, isn't about not telling our children that we're afraid or that we don't know, but it's about, we may not know, but here's how we are going to handle this. This is how we address this in our family. And we want you to know that, you know, mom and dad, or mom, or whatever , uh , where we know we've got this, we've got a plan we're safe. Um, and , and you're going to be safe and it's not about promising , um, false, a false narrative, but it is about allowing them to have a space, to bring their concerns openly, have a discussion and be transparent about the strengths and the challenges that the family may be experiencing. And also understanding that, you know, we're, we're going to move through this. And I think having that can teach children the strength of other trusting and respecting themselves , um, being able to strengthen their identity and strengthen their awareness about who they are within their community and within their family. And , um , to me , um, I know this may sound over simplistic , but it's almost like every crisis at the heart of it is the idea that how in control our way . And I think when we feel that we, our locus of control has been removed and this includes children, then , um, then we become vulnerable. And I, and I think for children, especially allowing that opportunity to say, okay, we can control COVID-19, but we can control how we respond to COVID-19 at least here in this situation, in this little four walls of our home. And that can be a really powerful message too .

Speaker 2:

Right. Awesome.

Speaker 1:

I know we talk about the social part of it, and even like the mental health part of it, you know, the anxiety and things like that, that children may experience, what do you think the longterm

Speaker 4:

Effects are going to be? As far as education is concerned like that year ended earlier and abruptly and they go into summer. So now's an extended period of time. And here we're still not back to school, the way, the traditional way, how was it going to affect our kids and their learning and their education as a whole, even for years to come? Do we even know that

Speaker 1:

I have a frustrating answer? And the answer is we don't know, as I mentioned earlier, there have been some studies that have started. And , um, for some children who have special needs actually going virtual has actually helped them. And it's enhanced them because it has shut down a lot of the distractions because, you know, when you're on the computer and you're on zoom, you have a certain number of children on you have the, the teacher , um, structuring that event. And so for them, the distractions that can happen in an open classroom , um, it can impact their academic standings where actually being virtual has actually assisted them for other children. It actually has had the opposite effect. It has created more distractions because their home and their dog comes by and then they hear the doorbell ring or, or something like that. And they become, you know, their , their siblings might be around playing. And so it's created a little more distraction. Um, so academically we're not really sure what the longterm standings are, what we do know. And again, I think I sound perhaps like a broken record, but , um, what we're finding is keeping as much structure within the learning environment as we can. And , um, and being consistent. So being , setting up a structure, being consistent, having children , um, almost have like a regular school day and allowing them the opportunities to interact with their teachers, their school , um, peers, and so forth, and the learning. And what we found is that some people, some caretakers , some parents have actually kind of taken , um, a much more relaxed manner of education, perhaps, you know, allowing students to read more. Um, instead of, I know some families who have actually pulled their kids from school at this time and are exposing them to learning in a different way, through readings, through activities at home and so forth. I think in the end, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your family. Some of the doubt and anxiety that can be created in and parents is trying to do the best thing or trying to do everything so, right . Right. And that can create so much pressure on them and , um, or trying to replicate what, you know, Jones or mrs. Jones down the street are doing with their children. And they're trying to replicate it in their own life and they're finding it's not working. So it creates another frustration. So I think my main message to parents, especially in terms of academics is trusting themselves, trusting that they , um, instead of trying to do everything so perfectly, but trying to do what's best for them and , and respecting the resources they have within their own family, optimizing those. And man, may I say, I think the kids will be okay. I think children will be fine. Um, like I said, children are resilient. They will respond, they will react. They will move through this. As long as they have mentors that are able to say, you're going to, you've got this right . We're going to get through that .

Speaker 2:

And , and I think that's huge. It, it, I think it's just huge that parents have got to be on the ball during this time, and it's not easy. Uh, there, there are plenty of parents who are out of work, who are struggling financially, who maybe have to work and , and don't feel they can devote the time to their children that they need to. And so there's tons of variables, but at the end of the day, parents have to step it up. And, and like you said, the fundamentals haven't changed, right? Provide structure, provide consistency. There's no parent handbook. I wish there was. But the unwritten parent handbook is always be consistent and provide structure that's unchanged,

Speaker 1:

Sun changed. And I would add another section of that is communication. As long as those three foundational elements are there, you got, you got this, you got this. And , um , don't worry about what other people are doing or saying, or even what I, as supposedly an expert is saying, trust yourself, you you've got this. And , um, we're not just doing the best we can and that's okay. That's okay. Um, we will get through this. I am a firm believer in hope. I'm a firm believer in healing , um, this too shall pass. And , um , we will get through this. You will get through this. Your children will get through this. And , um, I'm not denying that there is pain. There is. We have to validate that. I think culturally, we sometimes , um, don't stay in there too often. We often try to take pain away. I know this may sound a little insane, but too quickly. I think we need to validate and acknowledge that this has been painful. This has been, this has created fragmentation, it's creative fear and grief and loss, and we need to acknowledge that. And all of us, adults, children, and so forth. Um, and our elders carry , as you mentioned your mother, because I do think elders sometimes are another silent majority that we don't consider, but , um, in the end we will move through this. We will get through this and there's always hope for healing. And I , I strongly believe in that

Speaker 2:

Awesome. That is very encouraging, to hear. So want to discuss briefly. And , and I don't want to take up too much of your time on this topic, but what are some strategies? I know we , we kind of talked about strategies that parents can assist their children through. So I'm gonna skip over that, but what are some coping strategies for adults to utilize, to navigate the anxiety that they're having adults may be with children, adults may be without children. Um, what are some of those strategies?

Speaker 1:

Um , I love that question. So let me say that some of them I've already discussed, but I want to go into it a little further. And , and the first and foremost is taken care of themselves. We can't take care of others. If we don't create opportunities to take care of themselves. Now, what I often hear from my clients and from others when I've done training is we don't have time for that because part of the anxiety of stress and , um, and managing stress is that, you know, you'll hear from people like me. Now, you need to, you know, do yoga. You need to , uh , you know , go in a room somewhere and do some meditation and so forth. And, you know, people don't have time for that. There's no reality. That's not a reality, but there's small things you can do. And that is everything from setting up your own structure. So let me give you a personal example. When the pandemic hit and we had to leave work, I realized that in our virtual world, I was essentially working 24 seven. I was on the email all the time. I was on the phone all the time and my , my private world and my professional world had collided. And so these two worlds, and I think that that's part of our issue, right? Our worlds have collided. And I realized that there was no ending to when I felt like I was at work and it was creating my own stress response. So I took this little desk that I have, and I stuck it in a corner. And I made myself , um, understand that when I was at this desk, I was working. And when I was away from this desk, I was not working. I was in my private life. And I know that's a silly little thing, but it helped me kind of set a box around my time so that I felt more in control of it. So that's an example of sharing with , um, adults in terms of self care, you can do everything from , um, setting some structure in your home, if it's possible, setting time for certain specific things, especially if you have children , um, being present in the here and now that is a powerful place , um , to try to be trying not to worry about what happened in the past. Um , certainly grieving that acknowledging what you had so to speak and worrying about the future can certainly create this overwhelming fear that nothing's ever going to be the same and that we're going to be stuck in this hamster wheel forever, but to be in the here and now I can only control this right now at this point, maintaining connections as much as possible , um , limiting your media is another thing, so that you're not so overwhelmed by every time you hear. So , um, you may only want to listen to the news, for example, sometime in the morning and maybe in the evening, but having the news on 24 seven isn't necessarily the most healthy thing to do, getting creative. I like, I have clients who I actually have learned so much from them. I have clients who have set up like virtual book clubs, or like lard and music. You know, they , they play, they take, they set a time and all of them take up an instrument and they play on Zen . That was really powerful. I have another client who loves art. So she, and a few of her friends, they , um , take like, and I'm not talking like for hours, I'm talking, you know, sometimes it's only 1530 minutes, they'll meet , um , through zoom and , um, they'll paint together or they'll do arts and crafts together. Now that , um , there's a little bit of a freeing up. Um, they actually made at a park and they each take like a picnic table and, you know, they socially distance and they paint at the park because I, and I, I encourage that as long as it's safe and , um, you know, getting outside, just breathing air that is outside, you know, go outside on your patio, go outside on your porch, just go out on your grass and just breathe in fresh air. Getting stuck in the house is not healthy for any one of us. So , um, I'm aware that some , uh, some of us have less resources and others to be able to do that. So just step out and take a breath and , and let me talk about , um , breathing. I kind of , um, made a joke about yoga and so forth, but what we do know in terms of trauma, and this is a traumatic experience for us, is that it has to get out of our bodies. And , um, so any way that you can comfortably and safely do that is a good idea. I may be walking in place in your home. It might be taking a walk around your yard. It might be , um, you know, exercising, if you're into that, it's a very, just getting that trauma and all of that. All of those emotions outside of your body is really , um, critical. And we found, and research shows that, but one of the things you can do that all of us do every day and it's found to be one of the most effective ways to mitigate , um, how we respond from a traumatic experience, that's breathing and learning how to breathe from our diaphragms deep breathing exercises, where you can do it when nobody knows that you're anxious or, you know, getting into this kind of anxiety response. So I teach my clients to do a four breath count where they breathe in for four seconds, they hold it for four seconds. They breathe out for four seconds and then they just RAs for four seconds, we call it like box breathing. And it's just a way to train your body to , um, mitigate some of that anxiety and so forth. So learning to just breathe deeply is something that we can all do. It's not, doesn't take any money. It doesn't take a lot of time. And what we find is a blood pressure drops and our anxiety response drops. So I would encourage adults to incorporate small self care , um, stress management techniques in their life, along with some, some practical applications of how to set some structure in their life

Speaker 5:

And giving them the gift

Speaker 1:

They've given themselves a gift of doing the next best thing. And that kind of relates back to what I was saying, us trying to do everything so perfectly. And we don't, we, one of the things that the pandemic did, as I had mentioned earlier, was create a disruption in the resources we may normally have. Right . Right. So maybe , um, if we wanted to go to the grocery store and we had the capability to do so, we might have our babysitter come in and watch the kids. We no longer are able to do that. Right. So how do you create the next best thing? Because you may now have to take the kids to the grocery store, you know, with you, or maybe it has to, if you have a partner, it has to be something you juggle with them. Okay. I'm going to the grocery store on Tuesday at seven o'clock, you know, please, you know, be there and so forth. So it takes some juggling and some , um, re accommodation and readjusting of your, your family structure. And so I encourage people to give themselves a gift of not trying to do everything so perfectly right now, but allowing themselves to do things the next best thing and giving themselves the opportunity to say it's okay. We're okay. Right now we can do that

Speaker 2:

Reasonable expectations. I mean, one , I recently read a book about , um, perfectionist and , uh , it was a book that was recommended to me by a close friend. And , um , so I read it and , uh, I won't go into why specifically, but , um, what I found in there was that oftentimes a lot of us set our expectations too high and unknowingly. We set ourselves up to be frustrated and to be angry, maybe that we weren't able to meet this particular benchmark or this particular outcome. And it opened up my eyes to certain things that hit close , you know, and it was very insightful. And I, and I hear you echoing that in what you're saying. So I think that is a very good information for people to have.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And , um, it's not about not doing your best or not wanting to move towards your best, right ? It's about that difference, you know, being perfect as one thing, but optimizing your strengths and doing your best is another. And I think oftentimes our messages are not heard correctly. You know, you have people expect that doing your best means perfection. And I think that's exactly what we're saying, but , um, having worked with first responders, it's very difficult for all of you to back away from perfection. And I glad that your friend was able to give you that message. And I appreciate your, your honesty and sharing. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. It was done, you know, I get it, but it was done in like, Hey, you should really read this book because it's a really great book, you know , and , uh , okay . Message received .

Speaker 1:

I know you've given us a lot of advice on things to do and a lot of techniques and things. What is the single most important piece of advice? If you had to pick one thing that you could share with our audience on ways to mitigate the effects of this isolation and reduced interactions during this COVID-19 pandemic? I think that I would like to respond in kind of a part a and part B. And I think the part , um , one part of it is , um, the message. And I think we've been talking about, and that is connect with something, connect with someone. And I say something , um , someone is obviously , um, you know, natural or human being someone you care about, but I'm very aware that oftentimes in our world , um, people may not have other people to do that. So I wanted to make sure that I also spoke about that. There might be things, other things, and , um, your world that you can connect with that matter. And that could be a pet. It could be a value that you hold. It could be your faith tradition, something that is meaningful to you. And so my part B of my answer would be making meaning of this, trying to find some meaning as to how we experienced this, why we're experiencing this and that I think is personal for each and every one of us, I find that if we try to make meaning of experiences that we've had, whether they're good or bad or traumatic , um, it creates an opportunity for us to move into healing because then we can acknowledge what we had. We can , um, realize where we are and we can have hope for the future. And to me, that is, that is the critical piece of healing is understanding and believing. We will get through this. We not only will survive, but we will thrive. Um , this too is going to pass. And I know that that may not be something we see right now, but being here in the moment is really important. So I think my answer would be, find a way to make a connection and know that you're not walking this alone. You may feel like you are, but there's always, always someone out there through a phone call through zoom, through a physical contact, always . Um, and so reach out, make that connection. And secondly is attempting to find a meaning for this so that you can understand and hope for your healing and that we will heal through this individually, as families, as communities and as a nation. And certainly as the world, we will move through, we will survive. We will thrive through this. So I think those are my part, a and part B of my answer.

Speaker 4:

That's beautiful. Actually. It's like this message of healing and hope, which is, I think at this point, what people are looking for, they want some positive out of this. So thank you very much, dr. Deanna , I mean, for you to have given us all this information has been wonderful. And , um, I appreciate you. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I want to mimic that. I mean, very insightful, very encouraging and, and , uh, very , uh, very honest. So we appreciate that. Thank you very much. And our , our listeners will love it. They , uh, you know, I think people need to hear messages that are not just off of Facebook and Twitter and the news, right? They need to hear other things. And , and we may not take the time to step out of our lane because everyone's in that zone with blinders on, but sometimes you have to take the blinders off and use your peripheral vision. So,

Speaker 1:

Well , what I love about what you all are doing, and I'm so grateful and honored to have been here is that you're giving voice to people's concerns, worries, and fears. And when you give voice to something, it brings it out into the open and therefore we can then respond and together, come up with solutions. So I think this is an incredible opportunity. You're offering your community and I'm very grateful to be a, been a part of it. Thank you .

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Actually, as we're talking, I'm thinking about a lot of other questions that I would have for you in other areas. So hopefully we can convince you to come back to talk to us on another episode, but , um , thank you very much for coming , uh, to all of our listeners , uh, be safe, be well way or masks, social distance, wash your hands, take care.

Speaker 1:

You've been listening to the city of plantation podcast. We strive to bring your accurate and timely information. Please continue to tune into our podcast episodes and also catch up with us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and next door. If you have questions, send them to ask [email protected], and we will answer your questions directly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to our podcast and stay safe, everyone.