Tried-and-true tips for emotional strength during this pandemic

Many of us are feeling mixed emotions about staying at home, our local restaurants and other services are closing temporarily, and our communities seem isolated. Experts acknowledge that these life changes brought by COVID-19 could lead to anxious feelings, sadness, or frustration, but it can also help us to find our strength. Having a wide variety of feelings at this time is normal, but we can support ourselves with building resilience to help withstand these unusual times.

When our typical lives were disrupted, with schools closing, and social distancing, this change made us face a new reality, which has an unclear timeline. So, what can we do to preserve our well-being?

  1. Acknowledge and accept any negative feelings, rather than pushing them away or escaping them. Research shows that avoiding anxious emotions or sadness only makes these feelings  stronger. Instead, try noticing your emotions, naming them, observing them with curiosity, and staying mindful as you do it.
  2. Plan a new routine that emphasizes the things you find important. This will help you stay away from distractions or overindulgences. If you have children, you may wish to teach them a new chore that can help you in the future, like laundry, or they can be your assistant while you do home repairs.
  3. Get creative with your self-care each day. Since health and socializing can help your well-being, you may wish to go for walks, try a yoga class on YouTube, or schedule video chats with your friends. New, consistent, routines will boost your mental health, especially if you can spend a little extra time in nature.
  4. Take time to reflect and reframe. More time spent with family means that you could read a book together or do a puzzle. Our busy, possibly overscheduled lives, have slowed down and given us more opportunities to connect with family. It has also brought us more time to check in with ourselves. What brings us meaning?

With extra care and planning, you will succeed in staying psychologically strong!