What I Learned from the @ShamelessPsychiatrist

I was so grateful to have a great Instagram Live chat with Dr. Lea Lis. She shared some absolutely awesome tips with me about how to handle life in quarantine and when we start to open up. 

She talked about tolerating uncertainty. I really like thinking about focusing on the probable, not what is possible.  There are so many things that could possibly happen to us, like “will we get COVID and get really sick from the illness?” or “will we die of the illness or be responsible for passing it to our friends?”

All of these things are so uncertain, but Dr. Lea recommended focusing on the probable not the possible. For example, it is possible to get hit by lightning when you walk out in the street, but not probable. It is also possible, but not likely, we will die of COVID-19. Understanding and identifying the reality and the difference between possible and probable will make us feel better when we’re thinking about risk.

She also talked about scheduling worry time. Instead of worrying the whole day, spend time writing all of your worries down in a book – or in a note on your cell phone – and then dedicate time at the end of the day to worrying about everything at once. That way, rather than worrying about everything all the time, you have one focused time to do so.  She also said this is a great tip for kids. 

She shared a quick and dirty coping skills for extreme stress, or when you just feel you’re going to lose it on the kids (or anyone else, really like your parents, boyfriend/partner) called TIPP: 

  • T: Change your temperature (the T) by splashing cold water on your face or holding ice on your face. This stimulates the dive reflex and tells your body to slow down breathing and other basics of metabolism as you might be drowning and produces a calming effect.
  • I stands for intense exercise like running around the house, high knees, jumping jacks, or anything that increases the heart rate to the maximal amount.
  • P is paced breathing: exhaling longer than inhaling (I suggest 5 seconds in 7 seconds out timed.)
  • Progressive muscle relaxation which is a series of tensing and relaxing various muscle groups. There are many scripts available for this online.

Chatting with Dr Lea Lis was awesome. She even got me to open up about my own fear of vulnerability. Now, I see why people pay for therapy. I am so excited to recommend her book No Shame: Real Talk With Your Kids About Sex, Self-Confidence, and Healthy Relationships.

If you preorder the book, you will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Lea a question you want answered by her personally…so that’s pretty cool. She will help us all survive this quarantine and get our questions answered about sex. 

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