How People are Sustaining Themselves During The Pandemic
Published on May 22, 2021
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives. Social distancing has created feelings of isolation, which increases stress and anxiety. It is natural to feel worry and grief during these challenging times.
As humans, we share a lot of the same hopes and sorrows. The pandemic showed us how we have become interdependent and how what happens to one person can affect many. It is up to us to bring about our own peace of mind and think about what we can do for others by developing calmness.
When we can help others, we can help ourselves. Here are some suggestions on how we can help ourselves and others to manage and cope more accessible with the stress and anxiety that the pandemic has brought about.
SELF CARE IS ESSENTIAL
Taking care of yourself should be of utmost importance. It is helpful to take breaks from reading and watching new stories, including what is posted across social media platforms. We all want to stay informed, but hearing about the constant suffering can be upsetting. Work to limit your time watching, reading, or listening to just a couple of different spans per day, and maybe even going so far as to put away your phones and devices at specific times.
When you take care of yourself, you do so both mentally and physically. The physical aspect might include taking some deep breaths, stretching, or meditating. Meditation might involve just taking some time to take in and align insightful thoughts before taking on each day.
It can help turn to God for endurance in prayer, to help you feel better and create a positive perspective. Scripture Psalms 62:8 tells us: “Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” We can find comfort and hope in making sure to put our trust in God.
Exercise can also help release feelings of stress and anxiety. Yoga is an excellent option for exercising both the body and mind, focusing on breathing and being within the moment. Consider taking an online yoga class or live stream to connect with others.
Sleep is another factor in self-care. It would be most helpful to you to ensure you’re getting enough sleep at night so that you are waking to feel refreshed each day. Stressful situations can cause a significant lack of sleep, with anxiety keeping our minds from settling down. Make time to unwind at the end of each day to get yourself in the right mood for catching those zzz’s.
Social distancing measures make connecting with your community or faith-based organizations difficult. However, there are still options for you to contact each other to check-in by connecting online through chat, email, video, social media platforms, or phone and regular mail.
It is crucial to connect with others that you trust about any concerns that you might be feeling. Stay connected with your friends and family to cope and to help them manage. Let your loved ones know that you are there, so they feel less isolated or lonely.
Supporting each other with faith and love allows you to feel better equipped for stressful situations. Another way to reach out within the community is by supporting local businesses, such as ordering take-out or delivery from your favorite place to eat.
You can also feel community support through participating in an activity that you enjoy, be it an online art or cooking class, a family game night, or just having dinner with friends in a virtual setting.
MUSIC HELPS US TO COPE
The power of music has been long regarded as magical; music provides us with many benefits, including boosting our moods, helping us connect, and comforting us when we are sad. You can listen to music throughout the day as you work from home. Some comforting songs that come to mind you can lean on and help you through include:
- “God Frame” – by God Frame
- “Cre8 4 the Cre8r” – by Marrio Esco
- “Grace” – by Bridgewater
- “Street Hymns” – by Andyreal
- “Quarantine” by the Jeremiah J
- “Trust” by Bryann T feat. Moe Grant
- “Nothing I Can’t Do” by Tedashii feat. Trip Lee and Lecrae
You might also want to enroll yourself in taking some piano lessons with an online teacher to further your music studies, as another activity that you might enjoy doing. It can help you learn a new interest or hobby or improve your music skills while you have extra time.
Learning something new can help bring more fulfillment to our lives. Some people have more time on their hands now since the pandemic and the ability to try new things that they previously did not feel they had the time to do. Planning a virtual karaoke night with friends or attending a live stream concert or show you have wanted to see are ways to incorporate music and do something that lifts your spirits.
CHANGE YOUR MIND AND CREATE A NEW ROUTINE
Mindset is a powerful thing, and it can make or decide how we will handle each situation as it comes. Sometimes, certain habits can help to change our minds. Consider writing in a journal to express yourself or write down the things you are grateful for each day.
Pump yourself up with some pep talks in the mirror, or write down the goals you want to accomplish each week. Any of these minor changes can go a long way to helping create a positive and productive mindset.
Routines during this time are helpful, and since our everyday routines have become so different, it is essential to re-establish a way for yourself. For example, if you have to work, you could set aside some time just for you in the mornings to sit down with your cup of coffee, write in your journal, pray or meditate, and do some exercises before starting your workday. However, you set up your new schedule, stick to it, and over time, it will become your new and improved routine.
ASK FOR HELP
If you find that you are struggling to cope, even by attempting some of these suggestions, there are many options for you to get help. Call your doctor or healthcare provider if you find yourself feeling fear or sadness often. Some other signs that might indicate you should contact a healthcare professional:
- Loss of appetite or increased appetite
- Loss of interest in things that you previously enjoyed
- Headaches, body pains, or stomach problems
- Difficulty sleeping or having nightmares
- Finding it hard to concentrate and focus
- Any worsening of existing health or mental conditions
Any of these indications should warrant calling your doctor so that these symptoms or indicators don’t worsen or become more frequent.
Conversation and communication is a powerful tool for coping. You should reach out to others at this time who might simply need someone else to talk to because they live alone. All of us have been facing challenges that can cause feelings of overwhelm, and we must find positive, insightful, and faithful ways to manage so that we can become more resilient. We are all in this together.
***If you are in crisis, get immediate help:
- Call 911
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat