The current pandemic has touched everyone in one way or another. People have lost their jobs, and folks are struggling with the constraints of social distancing. If you have children at home, you are likely feeling extra anxiety during this time.
Some recent graduates have put their future dreams on hold until the situation improves. Even some of us at GenTwenty have been laid off of our full-time jobs, had to put our weddings on hold, and came home on last-minute flights from abroad in the nick of time. Needless to say, the future is looking uncertain for all of us in many different ways.
Since we don’t have much control over the current predicament, and we aren’t sure when life will get back to “normal,” utilizing some coping mechanisms is essential for taking care of our mental and physical health during this time.
Tips for Coping During Covid-19
Get in Touch With Your Center
When you begin to feel overwhelmed, pause and take a few slow, deep breaths. Think about your feelings and reflect on how you can change your reaction to the situation. In the midst of feeling helpless, remember that you are still in control of how you react to stressful events, even though we don’t have control over the events themselves.
Try to focus on the small things that give you pleasure. Play your favorite music and get up and dance. Savor your morning coffee, and enjoy the taste and feel of the toasted bagel that you used to wolf down while rushing out the door for work.
Be the light that shines in other people’s lives. The mantra, “Make me a blessing to someone today,” can really help you focus in an overwhelming see of information. Perhaps you can get groceries for an elderly neighbor or loved one. Consider donating to local organizations that help the vulnerable. You can even write thank-you notes to the staff at your city’s hospital or your neighborhood store, to show your appreciation for their sacrifice during this time.
Refuel Your Body and Mind
Take good care of yourself so that you can better take care of your loved ones. Here are some helpful suggestions that may work for you:
- Acknowledge your feelings and accept them. It’s normal to feel angry, sad and frightened right now, so remind yourself that these feelings are okay.
- Actively practice gratitude. Make a list of the people and things for which you are thankful. Concentrate on each item, and take a moment to pause and reflect. Say a word or prayer of thanks for each item on your list.
- Don’t forget to stay connected with your friends and loved ones remotely. Initiate online video chats, or make a phone call to someone who isn’t tech savvy. It will likely make their day – and yours – more uplifting.
- Take care of your body. It’s easy during this difficult time to eat unhealthy foods by stress eating – we get it. Try to consciously choose healthy food alternatives. Don’t buy bags of candy or potato chips, but select fruits and vegetables instead. Spend a few minutes each day in some form of exercise. Since the gym is still closed, it becomes more challenging to stay active. You can still take the dog for a walk or use your exercise bike. We also like at-home workouts like Les Mills On Demand. This might be a great time to start that vegetable garden you’ve always wanted. Not only will it remind you to eat healthier, but you will get some fresh air and exercise tending the garden.
- Pamper yourself. There are many lotions and creams that can revitalize your skin. You can even find creams made with
CBD. The best CBD cream is formulated to stimulate healthy skin cells. Choose a cream that is made with organic compounds, such as organic aloe leaf juice and olive oil.
- Stick to a routine. Keep a regular schedule each day, taking time for those things you value the most. Try to stay on a routine sleep schedule as well. Our bodies crave consistency. When you stick to a routine with regular activities, your body is better prepared to process those daily events. For example, your mind becomes more alert as you get close to your wake-up time. Your digestive system prepares for routine meal times so that your food is digested more effectively. As bedtime gets closer, your body begins to relax in preparation for sleep. Regular daily events like this provide an anchor for your body’s rhythms.
Connect With Beauty
Every day, try to experience something that is pleasing. Find the nearest hiking trail and enjoy the natural scenery around you. Make sure to stop and listen to the babbling brook on your walk. It’s amazing how much the sound of water can calm the soul. Even sitting in your backyard and listening to the birds sing can be therapeutic.
You can find hundreds of YouTube videos of people traveling to beautiful locales. From scenic walks through the streets of Paris or around the canals of Amsterdam, to breathtaking drives in the Swiss Alps, you can discover the joys of travel without leaving your house. Some of the videos even capture the sounds of the cities and the languages of the tourists. In these uncertain times, this may be the closest you come to experiencing different cultures, at least for a while.
Even though you can’t change the circumstances in which you find yourself right now, you can recalibrate your mind to cope with the situation. Hopefully, those coping mechanisms you’ve learned during this difficult time will help you to better handle the ordinary stress when life gets back to normal.