Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster of COVID-19

Scott Bea, PsyD, has helpful tips to navigate the emotional highs and lows of the pandemic.

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CLEVELAND – One day COVID-19 numbers are down, the next they’re climbing again.

At times, our ‘new normal’ can feel like an emotional rollercoaster.

According to Cleveland Clinic psychologist, Scott Bea, PsyD, refusing to feel helpless is the key to a smooth ride.

He recommends taking action and finding things – and people – that bring positivity into our lives.

“What can I do today, this week, and tomorrow that might make a difference in how I’m feeling? How can I develop? How does that support favorable mood states? And how can I be in touch with people that also have a more uplifting view, rather than the ones that are singing a sad song?”

Dr. Bea said uncertainty can result in anxiety. Not knowing how something will unfold can create difficult sentiments and demoralization – causing people to withdraw and give up.

Rather than looking too far into an uncertain future, he recommends taking one day at a time.

If you’re feeling down, he says sometimes doing the opposite can help. So, if you feel like staying in bed – get up and move your body. Or, if you feel like withdrawing – reach out to a friend and make contact.

He said giving a gift can boost your mood as well.

“To be gift-giving, that is a way to give your gift to touch another person to boost their mood,” said Dr. Bea. “You actually get it back and maybe two- or three-fold. We know that gift giving activates positive chemistry.”

He adds that this may be a good time to put your energy into creating new healthy habits – just be patient and keep in mind that it takes 66 days for a habit to stick.

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