Author: Diana Gordon, Psy.D.
During the pandemic, many of us have experienced a shift towards remote work. Aside from the public health benefits of remote work, many of our clients have also found other silver linings, from relaxed attire to more time with family or to pursue hobbies. However, many clients report that it can be difficult to transition between work and leisure time when both take place in the home. Feeling as though work has a discrete beginning and a discrete end can really help maintain a healthy work life balance. But how can you accomplish this when working from home? Here are a few strategies that you can try out.
Add a buffer to the beginning and end of your day
A lot of us used to build self-care into our commute, whether that was by walking or biking to work, listening to podcasts, or chatting with friends or family. Now that we are no longer commuting, it’s important to maintain a ritual to help transition you between your home life and your work life. Maybe you want to start off your day with some physical activity while you catch up on the news, or perhaps you want to call your loved ones or your friends at the same time each morning. You could also try meditating, reading or listening to a book, practicing gratitude, or other forms of self-care to start off your day. Even reserving 15-20 minutes to yourself in the morning can help facilitate a smooth transition between household responsibilities and work responsibilities. If possible, try to do the same in the afternoon when you wrap up your workday. By creating this buffer in the afternoon, you will be more prepared to take on household responsibilities and to enjoy your post-work downtime.
Set aside a space just for work
Many of our clients report that they don’t yet have a workspace at home that is dedicated only to work. It can be really challenging to create this for yourself, especially in a small space and/or when several household members need a workstation at the same time. But having space that is dedicated only to work can really help you maintain good boundaries between work and leisure time. For this reason, we encourage all of our clients to set up a workspace in their homes. For some this may be a full home office, but for others it may be a desk or chair in the corner of another room. If you may be sharing your workspace with others, you may find it helpful to have a basket or bin of items that you need for your work so you can quickly access it and put it away when you’re done. This allows you to sit down at your workstation ready to be productive, and also allows you to put your work away for the day when you’re finished. Try to avoid spending time at your workstation when you’re not actively working. This will help you to begin to associate your workstation with work and the rest of your home with leisure and household responsibilities.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas of strategies to try to maintain a work-life balance, even while working remotely. It can be helpful to work one on one with a therapist who can advise you about incorporating these strategies into your day to day routine. If you would like some additional help in this area, feel free to reach out to us for a free phone consult. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Author: Kari Kagan, Psy.D.
Living through a global pandemic is a universally stressful and traumatic experience. I have yet to come across a person who cannot wait for this to "end" so we can all regain some sense of normalcy. Given the chronic stress we are all experiencing, it is understandable that people look to the future to imagine what kinds of joys and freedoms await us on the other side of this (I am personally looking forward to hugging my friends and family). Looking to the future can be a helpful coping strategy in that it can remind us of the temporary nature of this situation and instill hope. However, the difficult reality we are facing is that we have been living with this "new norm" for almost one year now, and these moments of our lives are just as important as the ones BC (before coronavirus) and ones that we will have AC (after coronavirus). As such, I would like to share a self-compassion strategy to help you find joy, meaning, and peace in the present moment. I encourage you to take a moment out of your day, and for five breaths, let go of any thoughts about the future. See if there is any joy, meaning, or peace to be found in this present moment. Perhaps you feel comforted by the warmth of the sun on a winter day, or joyful when you hear the sound of your children's laughter. Yes, these are fleeting moments, but taking the time to slow down and acknowledge them can make the present count. I encourage you to try practicing this present moment strategy once per day for at least a week and notice the impact it has. I hope it brings a little more peace during these difficult times.
Author: Diana Gordon, Psy.D.
Many any of our clients are reporting high levels of election and pandemic related anxiety, especially in these last few weeks. These are challenging times for all of us, and we all can use some anxiety management strategies in our back pocket. The New York Times summarizes some easy to use and accessible strategies for managing stress and anxiety during these trying times. For more individualized help, we would love to teach you some strategies tailored to your specific situation and preferences. Reach out to us for more information. Stay well!
Author: Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
The clinicians at SFBayCBT utilize CBTi in order to help clients who come to us with sleep disorders. Our clients come to us with a wide array of issues (medical and emotional) that prevent them from getting a restful night's sleep. This article discusses how stresses associated with the pandemic have been shown to be associated with sleeplessness. It highlights numerous reasons that are contributing to a general lack of sleep, including: loss of normal routine, increased screen time, circadian rhythm disruptions due to being inside more, and uptick in overall worry. Sleep is foundational to a person's well-being and when there are sleep troubles it can lead to other problems. If you find that you're struggling with sleep and would like help to improve your sleep quality, please get in touch.
Although this article was written a few years ago during a different difficult news cycle, the concepts discussed are highly relevant to today's news. The article references a 2016 study by the American Psychological Association that found that two-thirds of Americans were stressed over the future of the country, and the constant consumption of news was a major contributor to that stress. Dr. Steven Stosny coined the term "headline stress disorder" to describe the stress that is experienced as a result of news consumption. This article offers tips from mental health experts to help people stay informed while mitigating stress and anxiety. We hope that sharing this article offers some new ways of coping during this particularly challenging time. If you would like more information about how we can help during this time, feel free to reach out via our contact form
Author: Diana Gordon, Psy.D.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many of our client report that they are finding comfort in nostalgia. Client are reconnecting with old friends, trying on old clothes, watching movies and TV they used to enjoy, and finding other ways to reconnect with happier times. Things that are familiar can help us feel safe and soothed during a time of crisis. If you're feeling overwhelmed, sad, or lonely, perhaps you can think of ways to reconnect with happier times. You may try rediscovering books or other media, getting takeout from restaurants you used to frequent, or even taking a walk in your old neighborhood. The New York Times explores ways of connecting with nostalgic memories that may help us cope better during this stressful time. Feel free to reach out to us for a phone consultation if you would like more support coping with the pandemic. We are all in this together.
Author: Clinicians at SF Bay CBT
At SF Bay CBT, we stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and wish to express solidarity with those around the world protesting violence, oppression, and stigmatization against Black individuals. We are outraged and saddened by the recent instances of violence against Black people, which reflect the longstanding and entrenched structural and systemic racial injustices in our country.
We stand against racism and hate in all forms.
We are in support of the American Psychological Association’s efforts to communicate more broadly on racism, to develop science-based recommendations to reduce police violence against Black people, and to address systemic and institutional racism.
Systemically and individually, we know we have work to do to address the persistent and undeniable racism in our communities. We are committed to the belief that all people (including clients) feel valued, respected, and safe. As believers in every human being’s potential for healing and growth, we hold firm the values of inclusion, multicultural diversity, multicultural humility, and social justice. At SF Bay CBT, we commit to listening, learning, unlearning, reflecting, and acting in order to do our part to affirm Black lives.
We see you, we hear you, and we value you.
We are all at the heart of this change. Please join us in coming together with respect, with understanding, and with the strength to make a change.
Author: Diana Gordon, Psy.D.
As we have continued to support our patients via telehealth during this challenging time, we are observing the impact that this global pandemic is having on all aspects of their lives. Many patients are reporting that they are experiencing an increase in their psychiatric symptoms, including depression and anxiety, which is normal during these challenging times. This video series provides evidence-based tips for improving coronavirus related anxiety and depression. If you would like more information about how we can help during this time, feel free to reach out via our contact form. We are all in this together.
We are all sharing a collective experience right now in the time of Covid-19. It is scary, it is uncertain, it is overwhelming, it is exhausting, and it is a rollercoaster. I've struggled to make sense of this experience myself and when I came across this interview of David Kessler in the Harvard Business Review, I found comfort, insight, and most importantly, hope. Kessler describes this collective experience as grief, and provides a very clear conceptualization of how what we are all going through resembles the six stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance, and meaning-making. He also provides helpful tips for coping with this grief and concludes with a hopeful and helpful reminder that this is temporary and we are more resilient than we think.
Author: Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
At SFBayCBT, we use evidence based treatments to help our clients get relief from their symptoms. This article discusses data that shows Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety-related disorders produces reductions in problematic symptoms and improved outcomes compared to control groups. Please contact us to learn more about how CBT can help you!
Diana Gordon, Psy.D., Kari Kagan Psy.D., and Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
Drs. Gordon, Kagan, and Leoni practice psychotherapy in downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Their areas of expertise include anxiety, sleep, stress, depression, and addiction. They blog about these topics to provide research-based information about common problems and strategies to help manage them.