Here are 3 key ways to help manage social isolation during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 19:07:21-04

After several weeks of staying at home, you may be feeling irritable, stressed or even filled with anxiety.

So a local licensed psychologist believes it's much better to deal with an issue rather than wait for it to become a problem.


Licensed Psychologist Dr. Harold Shinitzky says there are three key things you can do right now to help you get through this coronavirus pandemic and keep your sanity.

The first: Find things that are enjoyable to you.

"During this time where we are socially isolated, the idea of being able to find a whole bunch of things that for yourself are rewarding, personally gratifying, that you find pleasure from. Being able to engage in any of these on a daily basis or as many of these as you can to fulfill yourself and find it rewarding, while we're going through this difficult time is rather vital," Dr. Shinitsky explained.

The second key is focusing on productivity.

"The idea of being productive. Giving yourself some tasks. to do lists, an aspect of giving your self worth and value and some direction, while we're locked away and sequestered," he said.

Dr. Shinitzky says that gives you a sense of identity even with just short term goals or tasks, helping you feel as if you've accomplished something each and every day.

And the third key to focus on is compassion.

"Whenever there's a tremendous amount of stress, individuals can become a little bit short-tempered and irritable. And that's even with loved ones. So you want to be able to realize that you can only control yourself. You can't control others. So while other people might display some short tempered or irritability or annoyance, I always encourage people to lead with compassion," he recommended.

If you're still struggling during this pandemic, there are places you can seek out for help:

  • The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week by calling 211. They also have discounted mental health services that allow you to speak with someone one on one.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Hillsborough and Pinellas County has virtual support groups right now. Click here for more information.
  • You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK OR 1-800-SUICIDE.