The outbreak of COVID-19 has been stressful for many people. Learn about the resources available to help you cope with all the changes that COVID-19 has brought to our daily lives.
We’re prone to finding what’s wrong with our situations or lives. I’m sure there’s some evolutionary background to this, but when our primary stressors have shifted from visible hulking, animalistic threats to deadly, unseen stressors, such as COVID-19 or the next lurking deadline, many of us find ourselves in a state of chronic stress. Below is a list of things that help me cope with uncertainty (not just related to the pandemic). I hope they help you, too.
Process your emotions
A lot of us don’t think we have a right to feel a certain way because others seem to have it much worse. It doesn’t matter whether a feeling is “right” or not, it matters that you feel it. If you’re feeling frustrated, name the emotion and then dig for why you’re feeling it. When you think you have the answer, ask “why” once again. Keep doing this until you don’t think you can go any further, and then ask yourself why later. You’ve either hit the underlying reason behind your emotion, or you’ve uncovered something else.
It doesn’t matter whether a feeling is “right” or not, it matters that you feel it.
Genuinely listen to conflict
At the center of every conflict, someone feels as though they aren’t being understood and, as such, they don’t feel valued. In an argument with two people, there are really four people arguing (each person has a voice inside their head that they listen to). Silence that voice and empathize with the other party, even if you feel defensive. We’re bound to step on toes when we exist in such confined spaces for longer periods of time; what a wonderful opportunity to truly understand each other!
Hope is the most powerful tool we carry with us everywhere that we go! Take this time in quarantine to re-evaluate what patterns have been working in your life and why, and which patterns haven’t. Do the same with your social circles and hobbies and then make changes now (yes, during quarantine). Reflection isn’t easy, but it helps us move forward.
Don’t ignore the coronavirus and stop social distancing, but take a break from watching the news and group chats. While it can be tempting to closely monitor something, increased knowledge doesn’t always mean we have increased control over a situation. It can be daunting to let go of all the things that trouble us, but in letting go we create the space to focus our minds on things we can control, such as our emotions, behaviors and choices.
Taking care of your mental health is important, particularly during a crisis. This site can help: virusanxiety.org.
We, as citizens of planet Earth, are going through this together, even if we feel disconnected from one another. I wish you all safety, health and happiness!