Mentally Managing the Pandemic
Coronavirus has control over our behavior right now. We stay six feet away from each other, wear masks, try not to touch our face, use hand sanitizer and wash our hands constantly. We don’t want the Coronavirus to control our mental health too.
Our resilient residents remind us that challenges are part of life. It’s how we handle those challenges, particularly between our ears, that builds our character and resilience.
No question, Coronavirus has created anxiety, fear of getting ill and worry what will happen if we do become infected. Even the uncertainty about the length of this “shelter in place” order, feelings of isolation or worry about finances can take over.
So how do we cope?
We are creatures of habit, so when our routine is disrupted it can feel like a loss of self. If you know someone who is struggling to keep their spirits up and their anxiety down, here are five suggestions by mental health professionals at Psychology Today.
- If you’re used to taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning, do it! It may help you feel more like yourself.
- Keep a routine. If you typically go to the gym each day, find an online workout routine and do it at the time you would normally be at the gym.
- Find a new way to socialize. Just because you can’t GO to lunch with friends, you can jump on a phone call or even a video conference call with a friend over lunch. Bible study groups, hobby clubs, even happy hour is still happening through technology. (Note: professionals say to be mindful of alcohol consumption in this time of stress.)
- If your work or volunteer work has stopped, be purposeful about how you will fill that time. Read a book? Write a book? Look through all those old photos you’ve been meaning to sort? By treating this time as a valuable gift, a new purpose can emerge.
- Do something that feels supportive like write a short note to your medical professionals to thank them for the work they do. Send a card to friends and family. We all like getting the mail these days. Or make yard signs of hope and encouragement.
Finding the type of self-care you need is the key. For most of us, keeping a new routine and perhaps even a new purpose could be one of the best discoveries of “shelter in place.” We must remember – this too shall pass, and we will be even more resilient than ever before.