We are in week 4 (or is it 5?) of the stay at home order here in Ohio.  Kentuckians are not too far behind, by the way.

Many people are finding these circumstances very difficult, and last Friday, April 17th, Tabitha Hochscheid and Patrick Garry of the CBA Health & Well-Being committee discussed a few reasons why.

The video of their discussion is available now on the CBA’s YouTube Channel, if you were unable to watch it live.

They talked about some of the reasons that people might be having difficulty, anxiety, stress, restlessness as we shelter in place right now.  The challenges of social distancing are more acute for those of us whose work is with the public, with clients, with colleagues, in the courtroom.

Tabitha and Patrick talk about the grief that people are feeling—and those feelings are very real.  As they said, this situation is so difficult because “as a society we are experiencing a communal grief.”  And that grief is complicated by multiple losses at the same time.  To safety, social connections, personal freedoms, work, and for many, financial security.

It is important to note that as difficult as it is to get through, grief is transient, and we should expect it to fluctuate.

To help us all deal with our feelings and stressors, whatever they may be, Patrick and Tabitha offered some tips for coping with COVID-19 thanks to some friends at OLAP.

Throughout the hour, they discuss self-care tools, like:

--staying connected to social support networks, by phone, texts, video chats, social media

--social networks are the single best coping strategy to keep connected, and it’s important to check in on others after life resumes to the new normal

--practicing self-compassion

--making sure to get enough sleep

--eating healthy foods, and staying hydrated

--making sure to get physical exercise

--practicing mindfulness

It is also important to notice if you or the people you care about are exhibiting some of the symptoms of stress or grief which can lead to depression, extremely negative thoughts, or abusing substances, don’t neglect to reach out for help. Although we have never experienced something quite like this, we can draw on past challenging experiences to help us navigate this one.

And, as Patrick said in the webinar, the antidote for suffering is community.

We are all in this together Ohio.