The Covid-19 quarantine may have started as an opportunity to slow down, to reconnect, and to spend quality time with family. Perhaps it has also been a time to focus on things that previously time had not allowed. But with no end in sight, life may seem to be slowing down to the point where each new day seems more boring and frustrating. COVID-19 has brought the unexpected in many ways that can lead to feelings that circumstances are somehow out of our control. Adding to further stress and frustration are the seemingly daily negative news of race-related shootings, the subsequent demonstrations and related violence, and never-ending questions about the fairness and equity in our justice system. It is very difficult not to feel helpless. But one way to possibly regain a sense of control is to resist the temptation to sink into hopelessness and despair due to Covid-19 related loss and regimentation, and instead, to focus attention on ways to cope successfully with what well may be the new norm for our society in the near future.
First of all, don’t change your pre-Covid-19 hygiene routine. It can be depressing, for example, when you realize you haven’t showered in days. Regularly take a shower or bath, brush your teeth, do your hair and put on fresh, clean clothing. Secondly, boredom breeds negativity and hopelessness. Give yourself something to look forward to. Plan ahead for each day, by making a schedule or a list of activities. In addition, stay connected. Keep the virtual parties, happy hours, family reunions coming! Keep Facetime rolling! Join a new virtual group or chat group. At least a few times a week make a point to reach out to people you enjoy talking to who put a smile on your face, make you laugh, or provide interesting conversation. It is also okay to TUNE THINGS OR PEOPLE OUT! For example, if social or news media become too troubling or overwhelming take a break. Turn it off or step away. You can stay aware and in touch without oversaturating yourself.
You should also go outside and get some fresh air and sun. Exert some energy and move around whether it’s walking, running or swimming or some other physical exercise. Whatever gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. Be sure to invest in some guilt-free “ME” time where you can find a quiet place for peace of mind. If you are working incessantly, take breaks during work time–no matter how brief!!!!! Additionally, commit to a definite end to the workday at a reasonable time. Give yourself time to wind down and to focus on things other than your work.
Don’t stop eating but also avoid overeating. Experiment with new healthy recipes. Or, if cooking isn’t your thing, maybe there is someone else in your life who would be willing to prepare some things for you to sample.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself to complete projects. Set small, attainable goals for what can be accomplished each day. Even when you think you have read and watched everything, you haven’t! That’s impossible! There is always something else…don’t stop exploring your interests. Read and watch movies and series.
Finally, get used to the reality that, though temporarily changed, the world has not ended. You are more than able to discover new ways to navigate but not vegetate or stagnate. Even in this time of Covid-19, you are still living so keep on LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST!!!