WP Psychology Professor Sumi Raghavan Offers Self-care Tips During Pandemic

Professor Sumi Raghavan

To help combat burnout and mental fatigue during this pandemic, don’t underestimate the power of small things, like maintaining a routine and doing physical/outdoor activities, says Sumi Raghavan, assistant professor of psychology at William Paterson University.

Raghavan offered self-care tips during a Zoom discussion organized by the South Asian Journalists Association. She was joined by journalist Aneri Pattani as they shared advice on how to navigate the uncertainty of this period.

Raghavan describes trauma as demanding “extraordinary adaptions” of us, but says “there’s a shared sense of helplessness and confusion, which can mitigate some of the isolation that individual trauma survivors often experience. That’s where leaning into any and all sources of social support, including Zoom dates and calling and FaceTiming friends and family can be a really powerful balm,” she adds.

She recommends scheduling structured time with your partner, sharing demanding or unpleasant tasks, and involving children in adult activities. “Kids just want to spend time with us, and they will help you cook, clean, and organize if you can find a way to involve them,” she says. Once children are in bed, Raghavan suggests taking time for yourself and practicing brief mindfulness activities, like meditation, which can have profound effects over time. “Really do something for yourself to re-center as best as possible and reclaim some emotional space for yourself.”