COVID-19 STRESS ~ HOW ARE YOU COPING?

The pandemic halted life as we’ve known it so suddenly and over a year later, we are still trying to cope with the “new normal”. Things are slowly opening back up and there are signs of hope that the coming months may bring some sense of familiarity back to our lives. But realistically there is no exact date when this will occur. The stress of Covid-19 continues. How are you coping? I hope self-care remains a priority for you. As I continue to say, if you’re not well, what good can you do for others?

I take self-care so seriously. Especially now that our mental, physical and emotions are vigorously challenged daily. This can lead to health issues non-COVID related. Stop and take one minute and ask yourself the following. Are you eating right? Ensuring you’re getting balanced meals and not overindulging in things like sweets, alcohol, etc… Are you getting out and being physical? Obesity is real! I know my weight has fluctuated during the pandemic. But I make sure I at least walk every day. You have to get your mind and body going. Yes, that walk can help you mentally too. There is something about fresh air that can make you feel rejuvenated. Get out and clear your mind. Are you getting enough sleep? I know I function better with a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, the stress of COVID-19 has given me a few restless nights. Have you ever wished you could just turn off your mind like a lightbulb, but can’t? I’ve been there and that’s why it’s so important to find ways to cope. Find what works best for you and those you love and care for. Are you taking moments to just breathe? Like mediating or as I would say to a child…are you blowing out candles? This makes it more vivid. Sit in a quiet space if you can. Close your eyes and take those deep breathes. Find ways to relax.

Another form of stress from the pandemic that has overwhelmed everyone, has been with overbuying essential items. Yes, we all should ensure we have sufficient supplies to get through an extended period of time. However, with the continued uncertainty, people have overbought to ensure they felt confident they had enough supplies on hand at home. This has been unbelievably stressful. And not just with the “search” aspect of locating supplies, but financially as well for some. Overbuying led to overspending and the financial impact was just an added layer of stress. Thankfully the shelves finally seem to be going back to normal. I can find disinfectant spray and wipes again. I’m not saying I’m not guilty of picking up an extra pack of paper towels or hand sanitizer, since it’s currently not limited quantities again. But I would just say, don’t become a hoarder. Be realistic and get what you’re family needs to survive pandemic or not. Let’s do better and not wait for something tragic to happen. Be ready in your home, your car and at work for anything. You never know where you may have to stay during a crisis.

Also, I know our routines have been disrupted and we have been separated from family, friends and even coworkers. However, don’t self-isolate. You have to find ways to connect with loved ones. Use streaming tools and get that face to face interaction. Don’t just text someone. At least pick up the phone and call. Actually seeing or speaking with others can be uplifting and make all the difference to you. Consider therapy. It can be so beneficial to talk with someone about your feelings and help you process them. As well, please continue to check on your neighbors and the elderly or someone who may not have any real access to the outside world if you can. It will make all the difference to them. Depression is real and if your brief presence helps them cope, don’t hesitate. Of course, be safe and take all necessary precautions. But we can’t allow our fear of getting sick or making others sick, prevent us from doing the right thing and being there for others.

Lastly, I just want to say make sure you stay update to date. Knowing is half the battle. Talk with your family often about what’s going on. Make a plan of action for your family if you haven’t already with multiple scenarios. Update it as needed. But keep them informed. Even still, don’t overwhelm yourself with the media. Take breaks or a step back regularly from that too. Unfortunately, life is challenging, especially with the unknown lingering. Everyday issues will continue to lead to stress. But I challenge you to continue to set small achievable goals. To look for positive affirmations that give you strength and inspiration to keep moving forward. To remain grateful, humble and hopeful.

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