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Remembering When

Taking a Moment: Mindful ways to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic

Robert Althoff, MD

With all of our talk about staying present, and we have talked about that a lot, that's like a psychiatry, psychology thing, there are times when our current present is so surreal and so out of the ordinary that we need to reflect back on a time that's more stable and that's more comfortable to us. And, that's when you can think back to those times and compare them to the current reality. I'll give you an example.

Remember when we could feel like we just wasted surgical masks willy-nilly? We don't feel that way anymore. Remember when we could go to the grocery store and it would seem just like a normal way of doing things?

It's okay right now to ground ourselves in those previous experiences. It's okay to think now that those experiences were in the past and they're memories, because it allows us to realize that the moment we're in right now will eventually be a memory.

If it starts getting really weird and it starts getting really surreal and you start getting all discombobulated, think back and remember when times were different, because then you can say to yourself that this time will eventually be a memory, as well.

The tip of the day is to give yourself the luxury of the occasional “remember when” break, then get back into the present moment and we'll try to make this thing a memory as well. Thanks for being in this moment with me. Stay strong.

Robert Althoff, MD and Aron Steward , PhD from CVPH Psychiatry offer tips and information about coping during this time of crisis.