10 Ways to Cope During COVID-19
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. It is general information that Is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified mental health professional. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, consultation, diagnosis, or treatment.
1. Self-care- Remember you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself first. Try to get enough sleep, make healthier food choices, and take your medications and supplements.
2. Exercise- With a heightened level of anxiety everywhere, it’s easy for tension to build up in our body. Talk a walk, ride a bicycle, or follow an online exercise routine to release that built up tension.
3. Socialization-Humans are social beings, but interpersonal connection is limited due to social distancing. Luckily with today’s technology we can connect via social media, text, email, and video conferencing. Some social activities can be done simultaneously with others via video conferencing. Have dinner parties, happy hours, exercise routines, and movie nights via FaceTime, Facebook messenger, Zoom, and other available apps. You can even have movie night via Netflix party.
4. Distraction with hobbies- Sometimes our anxiety creeps up during the downtime between chores, errands, and work duties. Take this extra time to invest in fun hobbies that can be done at home, such as playing music, doing arts and crafts, reading, writing, etc.
5. Guided relaxation and meditation- Another way to cope with anxiety is to download various apps which can guide you through relaxation and meditative exercises. Many of these exercises encourage you to have a focus, whether it be your breath, a mantra, or a visualization. With time, these exercises can lower your stress level and increase your mindfulness.
6. Mindfulness- It‘s easy to be swept into today’s chaos, especially when keeping up with the news. Focusing on the present moment (ie. Focusing on the here and now) can be grounding and feels less overwhelming.
7. Gratitude- Finding something positive each day can be a nice break from the many negative and anxious thoughts that fill our minds. It also helps give us perspective and find the silver livings in our day.
8. Humor and Joy- Much like gratitude, having humorous and joyous moments throughout the week can lighten our hearts and give us hope.
9. Self-Compassion- There is not a “right” way to respond to any stressor, let alone a pandemic. Being gentle with ourselves and allowing ourselves to feel whatever emotions we feel. Also being ok if we aren’t productive as we want to be. You are human after all.
10. Listening Ear- Along the lines of self-compassion, it is ok if we need extra help during this time. Reach out to loved ones, share your emotions, and get support. You can reach out and find mental health specialists, therapists and psychiatrists. Many providers are seeing clients remotely, via telephone or video conferencing. Look at your insurance panel or go to http://www.psychologytoday.com to find providers accepting new patients.