UPDATE: Multiple news sources have reported that the strike has been averted with the MTA and LIRR unions reaching an agreement.
NEW HYDE PARK, NY – The looming Long Island Railroad strike is causing stress for a lot of people, but a New York health psychologist has some tips to avoid letting it take ruin your outlook on things.
“It’s really difficult when they’re in a situation where they can’t control the circumstances,” says Jessy Warner-Cohen, PhD, health psychologist at LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park. “So one of the main things is to try to figure out a way to try to take control in small ways. Figuring out ways to distract yourself while you’re sitting in traffic or [on a train] and also taking the time to plan out as much as possible. Because the more that you are able to make this into part of your routine, the easier it will become. So even if it’s driving to the subway site that you’re going to be going on or looking at where the bus routes go or where the bus stops are, that’s going to make it easier in the long term throughout the course of the strike.”
And if the situation resolves itself before there is a strike, many people in the New York metropolitan area will be feeling a great sense of relief.
“I think it’s going to be a great relief because this has the potential to have significant mental health effects not only on commuters, but on everyone else on the roadways during this time,” Dr. Warner-Cohen says. “And it also has significant health effects. Effects of crowding can be very difficult and can exacerbate people’s underlying mental health and physical health issues. So I think there’s going to be an overall tremendous sense of relief.”