COVID – 9 Months In
For most of us, the COVID pandemic is the most unique and challenging situation we have experienced in our lifetime. It has affected every facet of our lives whether young or old, rich or poor. COVID has forced us to go through stages of grief over loss of our normal life – our routines, finances, work, our future plans and our general feeling of being in control of our lives.
Coping with COVID for a long time
Now that we have been living this different life for more than 9 months, we are learning to adapt but that doesn’t mean it has gotten easy. Month after month of COVID negative news, health worries, financial problems and concerns for the future have added a huge layer of stress to our lives. We are all concerned, but for essential workers that must keep showing up to work where they may be exposed to COVID daily, that stress level can be crushing. While we are all waiting our turn for the vaccine, the stress continues.
Just making a plan on how to protect yourself from the virus can contribute to your sense of well-being and a feeling of more control. Start off by cleaning up your habits: try to get good sleep, eat well and exercise. Get outside in the fresh air and notice nature. When we feel stress, we tend to have shallow breathing so deep breathing 3 times a day can calm anxiety. It’s a simple thing that takes only a few minutes. Make sure you have some safe enjoyable activities that help you forget about COVID for awhile – a fun video, a good book or phone/zoom conversations with friends all help you temporarily put the pandemic out of mind for a little while.
It is normal to mourn
It is normal to mourn the inability to make firm plans or anticipate vacations, weddings, graduation or whatever happy times are on your list. But, remember, you can continue to make plans, they just won’t have a definite date on them yet.
For those who are alone without family support during this COVID pandemic, the anxiety level can be paralyzing. While many of us may feel a little depressed right now, imagine how they feel. Reach out by phone, text or email and be there for them as much as you can.
These difficult times will pass
How will you look back on the COVID pandemic? Did you become closer to your family? How about figuring out what is most important in your life? Did you use this isolated time well? Did you help others get through it? If nothing else, let’s remember that we all went through it together.
When you eventually get back to business as usual
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