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Ways to Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Robin Stegman Sakla, ALCSW-R


As the quarantine continues, so does the challenge to our mental health. Whether you’re trying to homeschool the kids or you’re struggling to find motivation to wake up for work each day, you’re not alone. Millions of people are experiencing this worldwide as the coronavirus pandemic wages on. Mental health is just as important as physical health; take some time out each day to focus on your mind.

Ways to Cope During the COVID-19 Pandemic

There are many different coping methods and no “one size fits all” model. It will take some time and effort to find the right method for you. Today, Clinical Social Worker Robin Stegman Sakla, ALCSW-R takes us through the cognitive reframing method. 

Cognitive reframing is the process of thinking differently about the experiences we encounter throughout our lifetime. Sometimes this shift occurs unconsciously and other times the shift may require a more concentrated effort. By using the technique known as cognitive restructuring, we can begin to think differently and enjoy the power of positivity.

While none of us have experienced anything quite like this during our lifetimes, we’ve certainly lived through some stressful and trying times. Tapping into our strengths and inner resiliency can help us survive in these times of uncertainty. Giving ourselves calming messages and using positive, truthful self-talk, can help to alleviate some of our anxiety.

Here is a list of some positive statements to help you get started with cognitive reframing. You may want to modify these statements or create new ones, the important thing is to try and keep your thoughts, short, truthful and positive. Repeat your coping statements throughout the day.

1.         It’s okay to feel this way.

2.         It’s a normal reaction.

3.         Stop and breathe. I can do this.

4.         The situation isn’t pleasant but I can withstand it.

5.         I’m stronger than I think.

6.         Difficult times are an opportunity for growth.

7.         Challenges help me grow.

8.         Right now I’m doing what I can and I can make it through this trying time.

9.         This too shall pass.

Add positive statements to your coping tool kit and to modify or create statements that resonate for you. If action is more likely to ease your mind, try these different activities to keep your mental health in check:

  1. Try beginners yoga – you don’t have to have an advanced skillset in order to benefit from the calming principles of yoga.
  2. Meditate in the morning or before bed – meditation is more about the mind, but you can add your body into it by sitting cross-legged on the floor and letting out the occasional “om”.
  3. Do a quick workout – yes, gyms are closed, but there are some workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home! Crunches, pushups, and jumping jacks require zero equipment. You can even jog around your yard if you don’t want to take it to the streets!

Again, there is no “one size fits all” model for coping with stress and anxiety. Take some time to try out different methods to determine what works best for you. It could be one or a combination of a few.

If you’re having a difficult time dealing with the distress of COVID-19, there are professional resources available. It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it.



Robin Stegman Sakla, ALCSW-R, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in Behavioral Health. She has clinical interests in coping with medical illnesses, the mind body connection, and healing with mindfulness. Robin is seeing patients in Middletown and available through our Telehealth Virtual Video visits.