The power of choice in social distancing
Last week our Governor announced that Ohio would be staying home from all school, play, and non-essential work until at least May 4. Many of our clients came to us with a similar question: How will I survive this for another month?
Therapist Holly Schweitzer Dunn, LISW, suggests we reframe this to view quarantine from an empowerment place rather than experiencing it only as a victim provides freedom and even a sense of autonomy where we once felt powerless. Try on one of these:
- Instead of “I have to quarantine” try “I’m staying home to bring safety to myself, to spread safety and to love to the world.”
- Instead of “I have no other option” say to yourself, “I choose to follow these guidelines for the good of all.”
- Rather than “I am helpless in this” remind yourself that “I have control over how I handle this.”
By viewing your actions as an empowered individual and keeping in view the larger goal – public health and personal safety – we can feel differently about our living conditions with all their restraints. You still might long for a leisurely trip to the mall or wish you could gather with friends for dinner, but shifting from “I can’t” to “I choose not to at this time” keeps you mentally in the driver’s seat.