164. Pandemic Stress: Strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Debbie and Diana

If you are experiencing Pandemic Stress, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can help! This is a stressful time for most of us; the mental health aftermath of a pandemic is sometimes called a “second pandemic” because of the rise of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. And in addition to fear of the coronavirus itself, we are currently facing other major, global stressors like climate change, forest fires, systemic racism, economic uncertainty, and political divisiveness. No wonder so many of us are exhausted!

In this podcast episode, co-hosts Diana Hill and Debbie Sorensen discuss Pandemic Stress and give examples of how they use ACT practices themselves, as they experience emotional ups and downs. Whether you are anxious, depressed, lonely, or irritable, Diana and Debbie have some strategies from ACT that might help you be more flexible and accepting in the face of the pandemic. As Diana says in the episode, “it’s almost like ACT was made for Pandemic Stress!”

Listen and Learn About

  • Pandemic Stress and the “second pandemic” of mental health concerns.
  • Diana and Debbie’s own experiences with Pandemic Stress.
  • The difference between threat, fear, and anxiety.
  • How Psychological Flexibility and ACT offer the key to navigating pandemic stress.
  • Why practicing acceptance is more helpful than experiential avoidance.
  • Shifting your perspective when “doom and gloom” thoughts arise.
  • Letting go of unrealistic personal expectations, and finding a healthy routine that supports your wellbeing.
  • Loneliness, moral distress, and loss during COVID.
  • How we can reconnect to our values, do the next right thing, and have a sense of common humanity.
  • Building social connection and effectively working from home.


Pandemic Stress Articles

Diana (left) and Debbie (right) find a moment for connection while recording this Pandemic Stress episode.
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Episode 164