We are in a situation like nothing any of us have experienced in this global pandemic. The coronavirus has halted us in our tracks requiring us to hunker down worrying about health, finances, security, social connection, overall impact and when things will look anything like “normal” was before.
Now more than ever we will need to find ways to manage angst, worry, depression, fear and the related anger outbursts that can come as a result of any of those emotions building up like a pressure cooker. Keep in mind people have different ways they cope with uncomfortable emotions and they are all valid for that person (and hopefully are not unhealthy).
Here are a four things you can to to stay as upbeat as possible:
- Get out and move. Everyone is at risk for becoming too sedentary when socially isolating in their homes. Not only is exercise important for our physical health but getting outside for fresh air will provide a mood boost too. In Marin we are fortunate to have beautiful natural surroundings. Take advantage of that while respecting social distancing standards to keep everyone safe. You can also set up a workout spot in your home.
- Get creative. Many have creative aspirations that they never get around to because they “don’t have enough time.” Now’s your chance. Pull out your art supplies and let it flow. If you don’t have any, check online for some to be delivered to you. Research has shown that doing art, even if you don’t think you’re good at it, is stress reducing.
- Stay connected. We are alone but need each other. Stay connected with your friends and family via Zoom or texts. Check in on those you are concerned about. Talk about what’s hard for you and hard for them. We are in a collective grief.
- Fight your negativity bias. Our brains are wired to hang out in the negative more easily. Even if you are typically quite optimistic this situation could challenge that. And it takes four good things to overcome one bad thing! A negativity bias can be improved by things like gratitude and nostalgia (remembering fun times).
For California residents, I provide tele-health therapy via California Online Therapy and Counseling; video or phone options.