If you are like most people, you are doing your best to stay calm during COVID 19 pandemic. It can feel incredibly difficult at times. When not worrying about friends and loves one’s health, there is often contradicting information through the media. The economic ramifications of the virus are causing great stress.
Signs of Emotional Distress and Ways to Cope
Everyone reacts differently to stress, but most will exhibit some of the following signs:
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other substances
If you are experiencing significant stress, below are some ways to help you cope:
- Limit Media Consumption
Hearing the media frequently spread panic is not helpful for anyone. It is important to stay rational and do your research to uncover facts from fiction as well as staying less overwhelmed.
2) Nurturing Body and Spirit
Try to get outside regularly for fresh air and go for a walk. Eat and sleep well. Make sure that you stay hydrated, avoid consuming too much alcohol. Find fun ways to reconnect to those who are important to you.
3) Tap into Your Sense of Fun
If you have young people in your life, look to them for some good old fashioned playtime. Play hide and seek in the house. Create an obstacle course in the park. Watch some of your favourite films together. Laughter is a tonic for stress, so find ways to get plenty of it.
4) Support Your Local Community
Many local businesses are hurting right now. If you are still getting a paycheck, consider buying a voucher from your local restaurant, gym, hairdresser etc., to help them create revenue now. This can help you feel like you are doing something to help, which can create good feelings.
5) Role Modelling
Your kids will look to you first to see how they should be thinking and feeling about this difficult time. So, move about each other as calmly and confidently as you can to reassure them that everything will be ok.
6) Use Your Time Constructively
For many of us, there may be a silver lining in the current situation, and it may be in the form of extra time. What can you do with the spare time that isn’t being used on a commute? Maybe you have an ever-growing list of home projects that you just never have time to tackle. Tackle them now; it will help immensely later.
If you and your loved one find yourselves becoming too stressed or depressed during this time, I encourage you to connect with me. Speaking with a therapist can help you both cope with the situation and help you to navigate the days ahead. I see my clients on Zoom or in my office in Hove. Contact me, and we will find time to set up an initial free consult.