Find A New Normal: Psychologist Encourages Mindfulness In A Stressful Time

Mar 19, 2020

Uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak-- and what the future holds-- can be stressful for anyone. Normal feelings of loneliness or fear can sometimes escalate to high anxiety, depression or panic. A mental health professional shares some advice on practicing mindfulness.

Eugene clinical psychologist Ruth Ellingsen says we all need to find a “new normal.” That might include self-care, slowing down or choosing to accentuate the positive.

Dr. Ruth Ellingsen is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in families. She is also a clinical assistant professor at University of Oregon and Associate Director of their training clinic.
Credit Ruth Ellingsen

“Reminding ourselves of all the things that our going on in our community to keep us safe, actually all of the resiliency that we’re seeing all around us.”

Ellingsen says it’s important to stay prepared and informed but excess media consumption can do more harm than good. She says when someone finds themselves going to the dark places in their mind—Breathe.

This is called the four-by-four breath. Dr. Ellingsen guides us through.  

“Breath in-two three four, hold two three four. Breath out, two three four, and hold, two, three, four.” 

Repeat as needed. 

For more information on how to navigate in times of uncertainty, Dr. Ellingsen suggests these sites: