Coping and COVID-19

By: Meghan Sullivan for SocialWorkGuide

We are all dealing with unprecedented times as the pandemic continues into yet another week. None of us could have planned that our lives would have been upended for this period of time, and each day brings about a new wave of worry and uncertainty. While we continue to see information on how to physically protect ourselves from COVID-19, we must not forget the importance of protecting our mental health as well. Keep washing your hands and encouraging social distancing, but remember that personal protective equipment (PPE) can come in many different forms, so below is a compiled list of PPE – for your mental sanity that is!

1.Keep a daily routine (or use this time to find a routine)

If you’re anything like me, I thrive on routine! During quarantine, you may be without work, forced to work from home, or maybe just having difficulty finding motivation to get through your day – believe me, I’ve been there! When I was furloughed from my job due to the current situation, the stress and fear began to take over and affect my mental health. It is important to not allow yourself to fall down a rabbit hole, but instead find a new routine to help keep you focused, and hopeful! As you read on, you’ll see what types of activities you can use to start formulating a routine that works for you.

  1. Move your body….off the couch and get in some physical activity!

We’ve all been there – falling into yet another episode (or season) of a riveting show on Netflix. I get it, I mean we have all the time in the world on our hands now! That being said, we have more time to achieve our personal goals to promote our own health and wellbeing! While gyms may be closed, there are hundreds of FREE workout classes being offered online, and they can easily be accessed on a phone, computer, or TV! Take this time to try a new exercise class, and maybe you’ll want to continue with it once this quarantine is over. An added bonus are the endorphins that I am sure we all desperately need right now!

  1. Clean up your living space

There is nothing more stress-relieving than a clean living space (in my humble opinion). Not only is it important to keep our homes clean from any germs we may bring in from the outside, but having your space nice and organized can help tremendously if you start feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Now is the time to tackle the overflowing closet, or disheveled cabinet space. Put on some tunes, open those windows, and get to work!

  1. Check on your loved ones – seriously!

Communication looks a little different these days, but it’s no secret that humans weren’t designed to be alone. Pick up the phone and call an old friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, or touch base with an essential worker to let them know you’re there for them. Find creative ways to keep communication with others a daily part of your routine, whether its zoom calls with your girlfriends, or good old fashioned snail mail!

5, Keep a journal – of things you look forward to doing once this quarantine is over!

We have to keep hope at the forefront of our minds, and the reality is that this quarantine will not last forever! Spend some time looking toward the future, and keep track of what you dream of doing once you have the opportunity – the sky’s the limit!

Stay Safe and Well!