Life for New Yorkers changed drastically in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. We all adapted to a new lifestyle being mostly indoors and only seeing the people closest to us – or no one at all. This time also came with a lot of challenges, both financial and psychological. Now the city is slowly adjusting through re-opening phases.

Platinum Properties engaged Dr. Jason Shimiaie to discuss some common challenges New Yorkers’ are currently facing. The biggest question being: How do we adapt to the new normal?

As a psychiatrist, I have noticed many patterns among New Yorkers. Some are very eager to get back to their old lives while others remain highly cautious, unsure if the city is ready for re-opening. Ultimately, it is up to you if you want to start dining outdoors, get a massage or to stay safe at home.

Here are some important factors to consider for both your mental and physical health:

What is my current level of medical risk?

If you have diabetes, hypertension, lung disease or heart disease or are overweight, you should err on the side of precaution as you have a higher risk of COVID-19 complications if you get infected.

How important is it for me to go outside?

Going outside or riding the subway may be vital for you to go to work. It may also be your priority to live life to the fullest. If you plan on being in public, make sure to wear your mask and carry hand sanitizer if you can.

The rest of the country is having a rising number of cases, what about us?

In other parts of the country, we have seen people go as far as having COVID-19 parties – causing a huge spike in infection rates, and even death.

New Yorkers are smart and resilient people, we continue to be cautious, wear PPE and socially-distance when possible. Keep doing your part and we will be able to maintain the status quo. New York recently achieved a major milestone: no new COVID-19 related deaths in a single day.

If your mental health is continuing to suffer from the impacts of this pandemic you’re not alone. Many people have been suffering from new or worsening depression and anxiety, and some people are having panic attacks.

There are many ways to get control of your feelings:

Be Strategic at Home

Make your apartment a dynamic space, not just a safe space. Being home all the time can feel stagnating. Find ways to make your apartment more than just a home. Consider carving out space for a new hobby. Redecorate and renovate.

If your space isn’t working out for you, maybe it’s time to find something that suits you better. If you’re finding that you need more space, or want to move to a different area of the city that accommodates your “new normal” more effectively, reach out to Platinum Properties for help with all of your real estate needs, and questions.

Meditation

Apps like Headspace give you guided meditation and mindfulness exercises that help center your emotions. These practices help you stay in the moment and get ahead of your emotions before they get ahead of you. Staying calm and fighting stress also impacts your physical health; acute and chronic stress has been proven to raise your blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Adopt a Pet

You’re feeling alone and so is that cute puppy in the window. A pet can help you feel loved and in control of your life. Social bonding is one of the most important parts of being human. A pet can help you maintain healthy bonds, lower your stress level and help create a routine in an ever-changing era.

Exercise

Stop feeling cooped up and stagnated, get moving, it will help lift your spirits! Research has proven over and over again that regular exercise protects you from depression and anxiety and can even enhance your cognitive capabilities. Consider turning your home into a mini-gym with a yoga mat, stationary bike or weights.

Seek Help from a Professional

Therapy and medications can be very helpful in your adjustment to the new normal. There are many approaches to psychotherapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can teach you new skills to manage your emotions and improve your lifestyle. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help you get your most intense emotions under control. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy will bring you personal insight and improve the way you relate to others and to yourself. Medications can help treat the most acute and debilitating symptoms, such as panic attacks and insomnia, quickly and help you get the most out of psychotherapy

If you would like to talk to someone, reach out to Dr. Jason Shimiaie at (917) 710-5075 or email [email protected] You can learn more about him by visiting his website. Currently, Dr. Shimiaie is offering virtual sessions to New York State residents.