How to Even Begin Coping with a Pandemic
This is such a scary, uncertain, and overwhelming time in our lives.
It all happened, and is all continuing to happen, so quickly.
To help us all through this immensely difficult time, I’ll post blogs that speak to what’s happening and what we can all do to successfully navigate it. This is the first of these blogs.
The presence of this virus on our lives is dramatic. For most of us, it has, to varying degrees, negatively impacted our finances, employment, social lives, and participation in various hobbies, as well as our physical and mental health.
You may be feeling anxious, depressed, and at times, even helpless. You may get stuck worrying about getting sick. You may be prominently concerned about the welfare of your friends and family members. You may continuously wonder when this will all end.
With all of this going on, what can you do to start to get through this difficult crisis?
1. Actively Remind Yourself that We’re All in this Together
Isolation from others, as well as feeling distant from others, can create and propel depression to worsening depths. You need to know that none of us are alone in this experience. While you’re being instructed to physically distance yourself from others, you can still regularly connect with loved ones through the phone and video formats. Doing so will help you protect yourself from worsened mental states and help a healthy one flourish in you.
2. Engage in Healthy Self-Care
When you’re told you can’t live your normal life and partake in your everyday routine, it becomes harder to take good care of yourself. A breakdown in how we adequately care for ourselves opens the door for worsened mental health. So, concentrate on eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and participating in healthy activities that provide you with rewarding feelings.
3. Put Limits on News Watching
While you certainly want to stay informed of the situation, you don’t need to constantly watch the news about it. When we continuously feed our minds with this kind of information, it’s much easier for us to experience mounting negative emotions, such as anxiety and panic. So, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to watch and/or read the news each day or week. Do your best to stick to this decision.
4. Use this Time as an Opportunity
This last one might sound strange; try to go with me on this for just a moment. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn and master a new hobby or skill, such as becoming an incredible chef or reading those 5 books that have been sitting on your shelf for years, sporadically calling out to you to read them. But, this whole time, it’s been very difficult to take any of this on, given you have all the responsibilities of everyday life. Now could be your chance to take on any number of endeavors that you couldn’t do before.
There’s a popular meme going around that brings all of this together. Your fathers and grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on the couch. What I’ve advocated here, and what I’ll continue to advocate, is essentially “sitting on your couch” in the healthiest, most productive, and optimal way.
I can help you create a self-care routine during this trying time through a telehealth session through a HIPAA compliant video or phone session. Give me a call and we'll discuss how I can help.
Jordan Zipkin, LMFT, at 561.214.4113.