6 Ways to Deal with the Uncertainty of Coronavirus
A few months ago, most of us couldn’t have imagined a reality in which going for a walk outside or embracing a loved one would be considered a luxury, let alone a health risk.
Naturally, the change in circumstances we’re all experiencing as a result of COVID-19 has left many of us lacking the sense of normalcy that comes with these daily routines.
Your commute to work, walking the dog or picking up the kids from school all contribute to your own version of ‘normal’, and with those routines being significantly impacted, it’s not unusual if your focus shifts to any anxiety you have over the uncertainty of what’s to come.
The good news is there are healthy coping strategies you can use to help you deal with the uncertainty of coronavirus. Here, we’re discussing 6 of them.
1. Make self-care a priority
Taking care of yourself should be at the top of your priority list – especially in the middle of a global pandemic.
However, with our lives being impacted in such extreme ways, the stress of it all can make it easy to put your wellbeing on the back-burner and forget to take proper care of yourself.
Don’t worry – this happens to the best of us.
Investing your time in a daily self-care regimen, however, is of great benefit to your overall health and state of mind – making it easier for you to get through this unusual time.
Some examples of how you can take the best care of yourself include:
- Going to bed and waking up at similar times
- Eating regular meals and staying hydrated
- Making time for some form of light exercise every day
- Taking short and scheduled breaks when you’re working from home
- Unwinding with a new book or your favourite movie
- Listening to a positive podcast
- Reaching out to friends and family
- Seeking additional support if and when you need it
2. Stay connected with people
With an abundance of technology at our fingertips, staying in contact with loved ones near and far has proven to be relatively convenient over the last few decades.
Now that coronavirus has taken away the option of seeing family and friends in a face-to-face setting for a while, we have no choice but to depend on these applications to communicate.
This has been especially strange for those people who aren’t necessarily skilled in or used to modern technology, but during a time when we need each other most, people are learning to adapt to these new circumstances and are getting on board.
Since we can’t physically be together, staying in touch through social media, phone calls, and video chats (even if Grandma still can’t figure out how the front-facing camera works) is a refreshing reminder that we’re in this together and we’ll get through it together.
3. Avoid information overload
While it is important to stay informed about new updates and procedures related to coronavirus, it’s equally as important to avoid bombarding yourself with information.
We live in a world where information – accurate and otherwise – is available to us immediately on news and social platforms, and that isn’t always a positive thing.
COVID-19 updates are happening minute-by-minute and the constant consumption of news headlines is more likely to fuel your feelings of uncertainty rather than be helpful.
For your own peace of mind, limit the time you spend browsing the internet or watching television when it relates to coronavirus, and make sure that when you do read new headlines that they’re from credible and reliable sources.
Focus only on the facts, and even then, try to simply focus on staying home and staying safe.
4. Have a little fun
In a situation as serious as the coronavirus, for your own sanity, try to make the most of your extra time at home and have a little fun.
As social-distancing continues, you might be going a little stir crazy after being cooped up for a number of weeks, and if you still can’t visit the shops, sit-in at a restaurant, or head to the movie theatre – how can you spend your time?
While each person has their own idea of fun, there are a lot of options available that you can try:
- Be productive and learn something new
- Try out a new recipe in the kitchen
- Catch up with friends on a video conference call
- Read a book in your backyard if the weather is nice (or simply catch a tan)
- Participate in one of the many virtual quizzes popping up online
- Take an online learning class
Whatever your fancy, learning to appreciate the little things that can help make this experience more enjoyable will make a big difference in the long run.
5. Be grateful for what you have
It can be hard not to get swept up in the chaos of the coronavirus and subsequently forget to stop and take a minute to show your appreciation for what you have.
However, when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty of your current circumstances, the best thing to do is take a moment to reflect on what you’re most grateful for.
Once you’ve had a chance to slow down and think it over, express your gratitude to other people as well. Simply tell your family and friends you love them, for example, or slip a kind letter through a neighbour’s mail slot to make them smile.
Sharing your appreciation and gratitude will make you and the people around you feel good during a time when it’s most needed. And right now, that’s about the greatest thing we can hope for.
6. Take control of what you can control
Being able to predict what can and will happen makes us feel like we’re in control, so when we’re facing an unpredictable situation like the coronavirus – daily – it’s normal to feel anxious.
Get a grip on those feelings of uncertainty by first accepting that it’s okay to feel stressed out and second, by taking control of what you can control right now, including:
- Who you speak to and share your feelings with
- The amount of COVID-related information you’re taking in
- Your attitude and behaviours towards your situation
Focus on the parts of your daily routine that you can still manage to follow or create an entirely new one that fits in with your existing situation. In doing so, you’ll help keep yourself productive and on track throughout the day.
You can also look for opportunities to catch up on the tasks you’ve perhaps been putting off for some time.
If you’re still feeling out-of-control, it’s worth it to try out other methods to cope with your anxiety, some of which you can find here.
Dealing with the uncertainty of coronavirus has us all feeling as though we’re in a state of limbo. The media hype, disappointments (i.e. travel bans, event cancellations, etc.), and daily stressors don’t do us any favours either.
Still, it’s important to remember that you’re one of many feeling the uncertainty, and during this time especially, you can only try your best.
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