Kari Russo, a licensed counselor and therapist, said she had a phone conversation last week with Craig Scott, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine massacre.
What You Need To Know
- Counselor says the more we focus on pandemic, the more power we give it
- She says it’s more powerful to devote that energy to loved one or to yourself
- Expert suggests diversions such as new hobbies and exercises, getting outside
She found herself nodding in agreement with something he said.
“What we focus on, whatever we give our attention to, we give power,” Russo said, quoting Scott.
Russo, director of First Florida Counseling Center, talked with Spectrum News 13 this week about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on her clients and strategies for coping.
She suggests that people give their attention to something besides the coronavirus, as difficult as that may be. Give the power to a loved one, to yourself, or to each other, she suggested.
She urges families to “focus on the good, like ‘Hey, what can we do?’” She suggests board games, puzzles, and getting outside, for starters.
One of her client families took up mountain biking at a spot they found in Mount Dora, she said.
“You see so many more people outside,” Russo said. “I think in some ways people are using the time to get healthier physically.”
That goes to “where we place our attention, we give power,” she added.
She encourages a new exercise or hobby — anything to establish a routine and a diversion.
Russo acknowledges it isn’t easy to disengage from the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s really hard to not think about the fact that we’re in a pandemic when everybody has masks on and we all look different than we normally would,” she said.
Yet rather than focus on that, she said, focus on family, relationships, and time together.
Those who live alone also can turn their focus from the pandemic. Russo suggests sending a note to someone or checking on a friend, for example.
“I tell my clients, even if you can’t get outside, you can do one pushup a day,” Russo said. “Just do one to start with, or one jumping jack. Just do something different than you’re doing, and start a new habit.”
Don’t Give Power to Pandemic2021-01-12 22:15:00