Psychologists Urge Routine, Attention To Mental Health

How are you coping with staying home and maintaining physical distance?

Saratoga psychologist Dr. Paul Marcille told KCBS Radio that for a lot of people, sheltering-in-place was an adventure at first, but now, it’s taken on a different form.

"In the last couple weeks, there’s been a tremendous amount of fatigue," Dr. Marcille said. "Fatigue from the anxiety about how long this is going to go on, people’s job and employment status, finances."

To get a personal sense of how people are doing, KCBS Radio reporter Melissa Culross turned to her social circle.

Her friend Tyler Hayes lives in San Francisco and said sheltering-in-place affords him the time and space to be in more frequent contact with people like his family in Southern California, even though he can’t physically be with them.

"It’s giving me more connection with the people I love," Hayes said. "I’m not distracted as often by things that probably aren’t really important, but that my feeble, human brain finds distracting."

Hayes is trying to keep his cool by varying his routine.

"I’m taking time to play video games and, like, read books and just, like, look out my window at the Bay," Hayes said. "You know, I’ve got a view of the Bay from my apartment, so I just look out at that and it’s really nice."

For Greg Bonnem of San Francisco, his shelter-in-place experience is about blurred boundaries.

"There isn’t a clear boundary between my work life, which happens in my living room now, versus my personal life, which happens in my overall apartment," Bonnem said.

San Francisco psychologist Dr. Michael Bader believes we might be able to cope by being mindful throughout the day, as these orders can result in some version of depression or anxiety for a lot of people.

"We can take one thing at a time and see if we can be fully present to something as boring and trivial as doing the dishes," Dr. Bader said.

What does Bonnem want to do once the orders are lifted?

"(I want to) see friends," he said. "I mean, physically in person, I want to see and, like, touch and hold my friends."

Speaking as his friend, Culross supports and appreciates that.