If you are here reading this blog, I imagine you too are experiencing an increase of fears, worries, anxieties, panic; feeling overwhelmed, confused, uncertain. How about, all of the above?
This is a really difficult time for everyone. I truly feel like no one has it "easy". Whether you are a parent now trying to juggle parenting on top of being a teacher - I bet you didn't think you'd be an educator - as well as maintaining your virtual workload. Or, you are living on your own trying to keep afloat your small business.
No one in their life-time has ever experienced a pandemic. Which means, no one really knows how to cope with what is happening. We as human beings are made to connect with each other. We thrive off of human interaction, connection. We also enjoy experiencing what life has to offer. With a lot of this taken away from us, as well as people losing their jobs, we start to feel hopeless. We begin to grieve our lives that we had before all of this. We grieve the roles we lost, the physical interactions we had, the places we use to freely enjoy, and so forth.
I am here to help you cope with COVID during this pandemic and beyond. There are many things you can practice daily to ensure you are making your emotional and mental health a priority as well as decrease worries that have come about.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Practicing gratitude daily allows us to feel grateful, to feel thankful towards the smaller things in life we tend to look over. While everything feels hopeless, practicing gratitude brings light and joy back into our days.
Notice what it feels like each morning or each evening to write down three things you are grateful for that is present in your life or that happened during your day.
You may have gone for a walk and felt grateful for the sunshine. You may feel grateful for the added time you get to spend with your family in your household or reconnect with old friends. You may feel grateful for new hobbies you are enjoying.
Gratitude brings us back to the present moment and allows us to trust that there is still some good in our lives.
Connect with Family and Friends
It is so important to connect with at least three different people each day. This may sound simple and this is something you may be doing already. However, for some people, I am noticing some individuals are having a difficult time maintaining friendships.
People are stressed out, grieving, feeling emotional; when we feel poorly, sometimes we tend to isolate more.
We are already isolating. Let's not energetically isolate as well. Connect with your loved ones or someone whom you have not spoken to in a while. Create a virtual game night or Netflix party!
We need connection more than ever.
Protect Your Energy - Set Boundaries
This can be difficult for some individuals. People feel uncomfortable setting boundaries with others because they do not want to be judged or disappoint them. However, setting boundaries is extremely important to implement during COVID.
What do I mean by boundary setting? Sometimes it entails un-
following unhelpful pages on social media, not checking your work email after hours, taking time away from your cell phone, or simply saying 'no'.
The news is absolutely a negative source of energy. It is draining and can really increase COVID anxieties, worries, grievances, and sadness. Allow yourself to practice self-love by removing news resources and programs from your days. Be informed, but do not become caught up in constantly being updated.
Main topic of conversations with your loved ones will most likely be about COVID. Yes, it is important to of course touch upon the topic and vent to each other about what is happening. Processing the reality of life right now is helpful in trying to make sense of it as well as allows our emotions to be free. If in fact the topic continues to constantly be about COVID and COVID only, allow yourself to remove yourself from group chats or conversations that are bringing you down. You can also try to change the topic of conversation to something more positive and light!
Practice these three coping skills / outlets for now. I will certainly be back with additional skills that are in my coping skills toolbox! (Hey, perfect future topic!)
I wish you well. I hope you and your family and loved ones are safe and healthy. I am sending you positive healing vibes from a distance. I am here for you.
-Nicole at Empowered Healing, LLC