Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 has been a rollercoaster hasn’t it? No one saw COVID-19 coming, yet here it is; a respiratory virus that is currently plaguing the whole world. The outside world, which you and I are entitled to, is now something we long for—a luxury of sorts. The current pandemic is the new normal, but like everything else, it cannot last forever.

But as ‘new normal situations’ go, our daily routines and habits need to undergo changes. This isn’t the time to slump in frustration. Now is the time to get creative about your physical and psychological well-being. With the outside world on lockdown, many of us are being made to work remotely full time. Working from home while taking care of family members, young and old, can be overwhelming; but some have it worse.

Many people are separated from loved ones, living in isolation. Many more have reduced options for regular physical exercise and social interaction. These situations can lead to severe mental breakdown. The COVID-19 era needs some serious adapting to; therefore, we must do things differently to keep our mind and body in good health.

“My deepest sympathies go out to families of victims claimed by this deadly virus. I cannot understand what you’re going through amidst all this chaos but know this: God has got you. You and I are going to get through this. So do not dwell on incessant loss of lives announced on the news channels, this is just another phase in life. It will pass.”

Life after the COVID-19 pandemic will be a lot different from the world we know, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a positive change. Analysts may make negative predictions about job security, viability of financial institutions and stability of the global market, but you and I must continue to stay strong. What is critical is our mental strength.

I have compiled a couple tips to help you stay safe, occupied and healthy at home.

Staying Sane at Home

Ever since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, the rest of the world has been plunged into enormous stress. You can’t even put on the TV without hearing about new cases. The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused worldwide panic, and this can lead to fear, anxiety and ultimately depression.

Signs of Stress

You may be under stress without realising it. The following habits are signs of stress:

  • Fear and worry about your health and that of loved ones.
  • Restlessness and difficulty sleeping
  • Overeating
  • Deteriorating mental health
  • Substance abuse such as alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Coping with Stress (Keeping Occupied)

These are troubling times, so it’s normal to feel anxious. However, you cannot let your anxiety overpower you. It only leads to stress and paranoia. Instead, you should stay active; get busy; and get occupied with numerous activities that can bolster your mental health. Here are insightful ways to cope with the stress of the pandemic:

  1. Don’t watch the news too often: Constantly hearing about the pandemic is the easiest way to get upset about things you can’t change. To keep a positive mindset, restrict news-watching to 30 minutes every day. Half an hour of the morning news is enough to keep you updated; it is also enough to keep you protected from countless sad stories that are truly overwhelming. Step away from the television and take some time off to do things you’re passionate about.

 

  1. Condition Your Mind and Body: Taking care of your body when restricted to the four corners of your home may be daunting but it can be done. The local gym may be shut down, but you can still get into a regular exercise routine. Now more than ever, you can pay extreme attention to your mind and body. The following things will help you keep a physically fit body and mentally stable mind:
  • Meditation: Participate in mindfulness meditation. This particular form of meditation is a mental training that gives you control of your thoughts. It calms your mind and body, helping you get rid of negative thoughts. You don’t even need essential oils, candles to get started. Simply assume a comfortable sitting position, straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe…
  • Yoga Exercises: Never underestimate the power of ‘stretching’. The best part about yoga is that you don’t need gym equipment or lots of space to do it. Yoga and even simple stretches help relieve built-up muscle tension and straightens your posture. If you work from a desk, all day, at home, take time to perform simple upper-body stretches. It helps a lot.
  • Dance Often: The average person burns 300-800 calories dancing for an hour. You never have to ever wonder why professional dancers are always in incredible shape: they dance. Dancing offers so many health benefits that people often overlook. It not only helps you lose weight, it improves your mood and keeps you happy.
  • Eat Balanced Meals: Eat healthy at all cost. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Take your vitamins. Eat clean.
  • Don’t abuse alcohol and drugs: If you need to while away time, do not turn to alcohol and drugs. Instead use that free time to do things you enjoy doing like singing, writing, reading—whatever makes you happy, do it!

 

  1. Connect with Loved Ones: We may be in lockdown but we can still connect with friends and family via social media, email, telephone or video calls. If the health authorities recommend that we limit physical contact with people, we can at least keep in touch with our loved ones via the internet.

Tips for People in Isolation

Living in isolation can be very difficult and demanding. You’re cut off from people you love and can’t have physical contact with anyone. If this is you, here are some things you could do to keep a sane mind:

  • Avoid rumours and focus on the facts. Seek information and updates only from reliable sources.
  • Maintain your social networking; reach out to loved ones, let them know you’re okay.
  • Exercise regularly and get lots of sleep.

Tips for Parents

As a mother, you have the responsibility to keep your children’s emotions in check. It’s common for little children to be more demanding of parents, especially the mothers, during times of crisis. In this regard, you have to step up as a parent. Here are some ways you can care for your child in these troubling times:

  • Create a positive and safe environment where your child can express feelings of fear or sadness.
  • Maintain regular family routines to keep tranquillity in your home. Also, create new fun activities that educate and enlighten your kids.
  • Keep in touch with older children via the telephone or social media

Conclusion

Like every pandemic before now, coronavirus will soon be a thing of the past. Although it will change a lot of things like how businesses run, it shouldn’t change the person we are. As women graced by God, we should keep our minds prepared for what comes after this pandemic. With regular exercise and meditation, we can be the best version of ourselves from within our homes.

Stay home and stay safe.