Coping - Some Tips.
We are certainly in uncharted waters right now and people from all walks of life are living in a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. As human beings we seek comfort in routine and structure, but what do we do when that is taken away from us without warning?
I’ve written some tips based on the things I find helpful at the moment. I’m sure you will have more but I thought it would be nice to share these, in case you’re struggling to find your way into a new normal and need some support.
Be Kind to Yourself
It should go without saying that caring for yourself is right up there as an important thing for people, but in times of crisis and anxiety, we often stop prioritising ourselves.
Self-care can mean anything from taking the time to have a warm bath and a hot chocolate, to doing some meditation and mindful exercises. Whilst we are in effect largely cooped up in our homes, we are allowed to exercise once a day and if you are in an area where a walk will not take you into contact with others, walking is a great form of self-care. Just to feel the breeze, smell the air, stretch your legs and have some physical space.
There are lots of other things you can do to care for yourself. Think about the things that make you feel happy and how achievable they are in your home. Try to take a moment each day just for you.
Busy Your Mind
Work and home have been thrown into the same pot for now. Some of us are used to working remotely from the kitchen table. Others are used to having a dedicated office away from home and the physical separation that goes with it. However your normal working life is structured, it is likely you are now in a situation where, unless you are a key worker, you are either working from home, or are unable to work due to the closure of schools and businesses.
We mustn’t underestimate the significant impact the loss of work or change in work circumstances can have on people. I think it’s incredibly important to keep our minds busy. You might be a fan of puzzles, reading books, or writing stories. You might be a business owner who is unable to work at the moment, but you can use the time to plan for your next business phase when all of this is done. Keep your mind working, keep thinking, keep planning. Try not to freeze in this moment of suspended time. It will pass, and we will come out into a new normal. Let’s prepare for that.
We are sociable creatures, even us introverts. There are a lot of memes at the moment highlighting how this must be an introvert’s dream situation. On the contrary, introverts still need people. We all need human contact.
Pick up the phone, call your loved ones. Text your friends. WhatsApp call your family. Stay connected. Even waving at your neighbours across the road. It’s so important to keep the connection with people. And if you need help, you must ask. We are all here to support each other.
Indulge a Hobby
I know, there are a lot of smug pieces of advice telling people to learn a new instrument, pick up a new language, and knit a jumper. And there are people pulling their hair out because they don’t have the time even in lock-down to suddenly become better version of themselves. But, it is a good time to indulge any hobby you have or perhaps wanted, even if it’s just for a little bit each day.
I love to write creatively. Having the children at home doesn’t leave much time for that, but I do try to steal a few moments at the end of each day to write something.
These are just a few things you could think about. These are tricky times and there is no right or wrong, there is only what we do in the moment.
I wish you all well and keep hoping that we all stay safe.