Coping During Covid
It’s the wild west out there kids. As George RR Martin so aptly tweeted, "2020 was directed by me." We are all glued to the news and seeing headlines like:
“Stark Covid-19 projections”
“9 dead in…”
"Massive job loss..."
This is a lot... not only are people fearful of getting sick, many are reeling with loss of income, isolation, and fear of what’s to come. Life as we know it has changed.
I am not so naïve to suggest that the “ominous unknown” lingering in the background can be fixed with one simple blog post, or some “quick tips.” HOWEVER, there are things that we can do that will help weather the storm (and hopefully get out the other side without losing our minds too much).
1. Decide how you want to interpret your situation
A lot of things during this time are out of our control. Maybe you haven’t seen friends or loved ones because of physical distancing. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, and you’re worried about how you will pay your rent.
You can’t control Covid-19, but you can control how you choose to interpret and react to it. It's easy to "find the bad" in this situation, but perhaps there may be some good (or neutral) hidden in there too.
2. Create a Routine
It is so important to implement some type of routine into your day. We all need meaning and purpose in our lives (whether you are still working or you've lost your job). It’s so easy to get lost in a Netflix binge, or to go down a YouTube spiral (trust – I’ve been there).
Remember your high school time table? From 9:00-10:15 you had math, 10:15-10:30 recess, etc. Make one and try to stick to it the best that you can. Here’s mine (and yes I still get up at 6:30 a.m.):
6:30-8:30ish: Espresso, cuddle with pug, study German
8:00 – 9:00ish: Read
9:00 – 10:00ish: Spend time chatting with my husband (handsome devil)
10:00 – 11:00ish: Study
11:00 – 12:00: Walk my pug
12:30 – 1:00: Workout
You get the point. Naturally, I don’t always do the same things every day. However, I do have a general idea of how I’m going to spend my time.
Do the things that make you feel good. Here are some ideas:
- Go for a walk
- Spend time with a pet
- Have a bubble bath
- Create an exercise routine
- Learn how to cook
- Talk to a friend or therapist
- Read a book
- Take a course
4. Reframe your situation
So! You’re at home and now you find yourself with a bunch of hours to fill. I would wager that a month ago, you probably didn’t have time to do all of the things that you enjoy. Now before you object, lets clear the air. YES it sucks that this is happening. YES you’re scared about getting sick. YES you are worried about running out of money.
Everything comes with a price. “Regular life” is a busy life. It's a busy life where we often don’t have spare time to truly be present with loved ones, to go inward and focus on ourselves, or to practice a hobby that made you happy in the past.
Think about the things that used to bring you joy. Were you an athlete in high school? Go for a run! Did you like to draw, paint, sing or play an instrument? Get to it! Have you felt distant from your spouse? Now is the time to reconnect.
Finding little joys in crappy situations can help you ease the tension, and find a little relief.
5. Take action
Take actions on the things you can control. If you’ve lost your job, start sending out resumes. If you feel anxious, call a friend, go for a walk, or watch a funny movie on Netflix. If you’re feeling bored or restless, learn something new. There are so many platforms out there that offer free courses (e.g., Coursera).
Control what you can control!
Stay safe kids!