Over the course of only a couple weeks, Santa Clarita Valley residents and the rest of California have gradually changed their routines with major disruptions brought forth by the novel coronavirus.
In an effort to address everyone’s new routine under a statewide order to remain at home, county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District covers the Santa Clarita Valley, is hosting a video series addressing the mental health effects of COVID-19.
The series, titled “Walking the walk for mental health” and posted on the county’s Vimeo channel, has already released six short videos with Dr. Jonathan Sherin, the county’s Mental Health director, since Tuesday.
Thus far, topics released include isolation, changes, kindness, new routines and anxiety.
On anxiety, Barger asked Sherin what he suggested people can do as “a lot of people at home (are) facing anxiety and uncertainty, (and) having (this) ‘Safer at Home’ order in place.”
“Anxiety is provoked by unsure situations, the unknown, the need to change routines,” said Sherin. “And what we really have to recognize is that, as there’s a new order, we have to adjust and that the adjustment, while it can be disruptive, doesn’t have to be something that is bad.”
Staying at home allows people the chance to check some things off their list they have not had the time to do so, such as relaxing, maintaining good routines, exploring new hobbies, exercising, and sleeping and eating well.
“What’s really critical at the individual level is that we don’t engage in unhealthy type routines,” said Sherin, adding that drugs and alcohol, for example, are a “bad way to deal with anxiety and something that frankly provokes more and more anxiety over time.”