My Coping techniques for these stressful times
These are uncertain and scary times. Some of us may need therapy or mental support by the time this pandemic is over. These are some of the coping techniques, I have used in the face of fear of both the known and the unknown during this corona-virus pandemic. Some may or may not work for you but feel free to pick any you connect with and please share tools you have used as well.
‘Sheltering in place’ - I keep me and my boys’ behind at home and shop for grocery at my local Food lion. I understand it’s a privilege to be able to do this as there are quite a few people that cannot do this, especially our health care professionals, which makes it even more important for those who can stay home to do so to help flatten that curve as we all collectively contribute to not overwhelming our health system.
I learn as much as I can about this virus, it helps to de-mystify it. Like the science behind how a novel virus is different from known (‘all human’) virus, what the experts are discovering each day, what are the statistics? What are we learning from what’s happening in other areas where this started earlier in the year, what are people’s experiences and how can I apply lessons learned where possible? Arming myself with information helps me deal with an issue more effectively.
I manage the coronavirus related information I take in daily. I filter by time and value. I will get the latest updates for my state, country and Internationally, but I limit the time and frequency. I have caught myself sometimes getting lost in it all and when this happens, I just STOP and do something else that is not coronavirus related. Else, its possible to get to a state where nothing else exists but this and that’s not good because it means I have been overwhelmed with fear - and I wont let that happen.
When I have fearful thoughts, I go back to scripture that I meditate on and get my calm from and subject fearful thoughts to God's word. 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I pray with my kids - for healing and deliverance of our land, for protection of our health professionals and front liners, for grace for families already affected by death or sickness from this thing, and for our protection.
I do other things – I chill and Netflix (notice how I reversed the order, my boys wont let me say it the right way cos its supposed to mean something else.....so this switch is for their comfort lol!) I work, exercise, watch movies, fight with my boys, take walks, call my parents, indulge in family gossip with my siblings, read.
7. I listen to music.
8. I practice gratitude. I’m proactively finding stuff (big and small) to be grateful for each day. I’m thankful for the big things, like having a home, discovering the kindness in humanity, being healthy, being alive…. I’m thankful for the mundane things, like having access to crunchy vegetables, being able to dance….. and I’m thankful for the silly things, like having 24-7 maid service for bringing the remote, turning on the lights, etc because the boys are home all day lol! Hey I birth them, the least they could do is hand me the remote when I feel too lazy to get up. Lol!
9. There’s lots of content online, and the community on how you can help during this time and I’m engaging in some of them – reach out to more vulnerable in my community to ask if they need grocery errands, check in with healthcare professionals that you know and encourage them, pray for them, let them know its going to be okay. Contribute financially to local charities, (for me local charities that support kids and moms whose fund raising events may have been cancelled due to the pandemic) I’m working (virtually) with my nieces and young adult friends on how we can make some face masks that can be donated where accepted using CDC approved patterns. Helping has an incredible way of making you be involved in something bigger than self.
10. I remind myself constantly that this too shall pass …. Because no matter how bad it is, it will pass and we cant forget that.
Look around, While there are trees without leaves, there are some whose flowers and colors are blossoming ..... Spring is coming!