Life as we knew it has changed for the time being. People all over the country have been asked to self-quarantine, socially distance, cancel events, work from home, and close their businesses as a result of the coronavirus.
I am still trying to wrap my head around all of this, and I imagine many of you are feeling the same way. As with any loss (and this is a collective loss of normalcy), there is a period of processing what has happened and trying to understand more.
What does this mean for you?
How long is this going to last?
Is this going to affect you, your family, your friends, your coworkers, or your community?
Are you going to lose money from not being able to work?
Do you really need to stay home?
Is this actually serious?
Are the grocery stores going to run out of food?
Are you going to go crazy having to stay home with your family all the time?
Valid questions, yes. And there haven’t always been answers.
This leads to uncertainty, doubt, fear, and panic.
How can you cope with this change, keep yourself safe, and spread calm to those around you (instead of panic)? Keep reading to learn how to cope during a pandemic.
Protect Yourself And Your Community
First and foremost, it is essential that you protect yourself and those around you. Those protections include social distancing, washing your hands, cleaning surfaces, and not touching your face. And, those protections also include caring for your mental health and wellness.
I have previously written about emotional contagion and the effects emotions can have on the people around you. If you are experiencing panic and anxiety, it is going to impact the people around you. Spreading fear and panic never helps.
Focus on spreading calm using these tips to help you cope during a pandemic:
1. Check in with yourself and your emotions.
I created an excellent 5-minute check-in guided meditation to help you do just that. Fill out the form below to download it.
2. Take things one day at a time.
The reality is that we don’t know what the future holds, and that’s okay. Focusing on today can help you be fully present and feel more in control.
3. Take deep breaths throughout the day all the way into your belly.
This will help you physically calm down your body and get you out of a state of anxiety and stress.
4. Focus on any positive things that may come out of the situation.
Maybe this includes more time with your family, to spend on a hobby, or to practice self-care and relaxation.
5. Set up a video chat date with friends and/or family members.
Continue having positive social experiences with others and socialize virtually using video chat or the phone. Talk about things other than the virus so that the focus isn’t only on it.
6. Avoid compulsively checking the news and social media whenever possible.
The reality is that the news has been scary recently and talk about the virus is all over social media. Give your mind a break and stop compulsively checking. Chances are it’s only going to make you feel worse, and it’s not going to help in any way.
7. Be creative and have fun.
Take this time to learn a new hobby or return to one you haven’t done in a while. Play board games or card games with your family. Go for a walk. Hang out in your yard. Make some popcorn and watch a movie together. The possibilities are endless.
I’ve been using this time to learn digital lettering on my iPad.
I started taking this class once I learned that all classes on Brit + Co are free until the end of the month! Go check it out for yourself here and learn something new!
Be A Victor, Not A Victim
These are difficult times for everybody, and I know we are resilient and will survive this. We have survived much more throughout humanity and although this is a new experience for almost everybody currently alive, it is something humans have coped with and overcome in the past.
Choose to be a victor and take control over your actions and how you choose to view this situation, as opposed to being a victim and allowing the circumstances to bring you and your mood down.
Here are some other articles you may find helpful to help you learn how to cope during a pandemic:
We’re in this together.