How To Cope With The Coronavirus

7 May

These are troubled times. Six months ago, could you have believed we’d find ourselves in this situation? Learning how to cope with the coronavirus has not been easy.

How are you doing? Are you battling fear, depression, or perhaps simple disbelief that this horrible virus could be invading our lives? We may find ourselves at our wit’s end trying to figure out how to cope with all the changes the virus has made in our day-to-day living. In this article I will suggest some ideas you can try that might help reduce your stress level.

It’s a natural response to feel fear, but if you can keep a positive mindset, you can focus on the things that help you make it through the day. Remember, one day at a time. Focus on the present and don’t get sidetracked by “what ifs.”

Make Sure You Have A Support System

Here are some techniques that can help you focus on the positive. It’s not a battle you need to face alone. Perhaps you can turn to a community of friends for help, or to your church members.

Having an understanding friend to talk to can be very helpful when you are trying to keep your own thinking under control.

Limit Your Amount Of Media Time

Make sure you get your information from sources that are based on fact, not wild rumors. Social Media sites often contain these. They just make matters worse, so stay far away from them.

Don’t stay glued to your TV, radio or phone to hear the latest updates. Too many negative stories will just add to your stress level. Perhaps you can find one source of news about the virus that is up-to-date and complete. Then just tune in to this information for a little time each day.

Chinese crowd, all masked

What Can You Control?

Because of fear and depression, you may feel powerless. Your anxiety can build the scene into a hopeless one, destroying all your optimism.

Though in such a situation, you can’t control your feelings and thoughts or others’ actions, you are not powerless. Put your mind on the things that you can control. Doing so will help restore your self-confidence.

Things you can control might be quite simple. You have a routine for day and night; you decide on what you will eat and what you will wear.

There are more complex things you can control, such as your form of self-talk or the way that you pursue beliefs and goals. Think of your daily activities, and make a list of all the things within your control. You might find it surprising that the list is so long.

Start A Gratitude Journal

Even in these extreme times, there are things to be grateful for. Think of these things and write in your journal every day. I like to do so at the end of the day, because then I can think back over the day and find several things for which I feel grateful.

By creating a daily list to remind you of your reasons for being grateful, you will reestablish an awareness that there are good things in your life.

Do You Have A Faith Practice?

Basic faith can be very important. Prayer is helpful. If you have a Bible study group, use it. You don’t have to join with a big group of people. Just find a friend or two you can get together with, and think about ways to meet your challenges through faith.

Such practices will help center you and strengthen you.

Set Aside A Few Moments Each Day For Reflection

During this period each day, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.

Close your eyes and reflect on happy moments in your life. Remember positive memories and experiences, and feel those good feelings that accompany them.

Think of a place that you really enjoy. Think about the experience of being there, and the warm feelings it generates. Imagine yourself there for a few minutes. This practice will calm you and refresh your mind.

Coronavirus

Take It All One Day At A Time

Since there are presently things in your life you cannot control, you must make the most of what you have. Get through each day, one at a time, and do your best to find some bright spots to lift your spirits.

To help you get through each day, keep to a daily routine and do what you can to be productive. By doing so, you will promote a sense of hope that you are progressing forward with your life.

Find A Way To Help Others

Perhaps one of your neighbors might be at high risk. Keep your social distance, but check up on them now and then to see if there is a way you can be helpful.

Helping others makes them feel good, and it boosts your mood as well. Sometimes it does one good to remember that there are others whose situations are much worse than yours.

You might find a simple way to uplift someone who has been helpful to you. Leave them a small gift or send an email note of appreciation. Small acts of thoughtfulness can do both you and the recipient a lot of good.

Make Sure You Get Exercise

If you have a dog, you might consider yourself lucky, because the dog needs his exercise. Well, so do you. Taking your dog out for a walk with do both of you good.

Getting your body moving loosens up muscles that might be tense because of stress. Breathing fresh air helps your body as well, because you breathe out the stale and breathe in the fresh and invigorating. You may raise your energy levels, just by taking a walk.

You may find that after a brisk walk, you have a heightened sense of well-being. Your walk will tend to make you feel more energetic. It may also improve the way you sleep.

Exercise has been shown to make you more relaxed and positive. If you are depressed or anxious, the exercise can have a positive impact, helping to improve your outlook and relieve your stress. Do try to take at least a short walk every day.

Experts Are Working On A Solution

Be assured that there are many people in this world who are working to make things better. They are looking for solutions. Do not lose hope that a solution will be found: medication or a vaccine. It may not happen as fast as you would like, but it will happen.

med person readying room for patient

Establish A Routine

Things have changed in the last couple of months. All our regular schedules for our days have been upended. Nevertheless, in this new world we are trying to adjust to, it is important that you establish a routine to get you through the day.

Make up a schedule of your activities and establish a rhythm, as this will make the day seem more normal.

Enjoy The Small Pleasures

That walk you take may cause you to notice new buds on the bushes, flowers starting to rise from the earth and reach for the sun, and the world may smell fresh and clean.

Acknowledge these messages from nature that tell you that all is not lost; the earth is still putting forth new growth. These small changes will let you know that life goes on; the world is not ending just yet.

Do you have a pet? Spend time playing with it, or stroking its fur and scratching its favorite spots. Focusing on the animal can take you out of yourself and give you a momentary bit of peace from the surrounding negativity. An animal, trusting and loving, can go a long way toward helping you with your own healing.

Start A New Hobby

Perhaps there’s something you have always wanted to learn to do, and haven’t had time. While you are staying close to home, perhaps you can find a way to try out this new thing. Perhaps you want to paint, or write, or learn to do needlework. Perhaps you are into carpentry and want to build something new, such as a cabinet.

Become engrossed in this new activity, because then you will take your mind off the negative aspects of the world that are in place right now. Besides, learning something new can engage hands, mind, and imagination, and lead you into a more positive place.

Coronavirus image

Qualities Of A Positive Mindset

These are some qualities that are characteristics of a positive mindset: Optimism, acceptance, resilience, gratitude, mindfulness, and integrity. If you can integrate these qualities into your way of thinking, you may find you can recover your balance and regain your positive attitude.

Keep a belief that a solution will be found, and a faith that things will eventually get better. When you are bombarded by the negative and struggle to keep your head up, remember: This, too, shall pass. Somewhere down the road from where you are now, a solution will be found.

May you find the strength and the confidence to carry on until we can all return to the light.

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Here are the references I used for this post:

psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stronger-fear/202003/how-stay-positive-during-the-pandemic

news.sanfordhealth.org/coronavirus-disease-2019/coronavirus-wellness/keeping-positive-mindset/

forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2020/03/15/9-ways-to-stay-positive-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/#5f12d9855a8e

positivepsychology.com/positive-mindset

 

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12 Replies to “How To Cope With The Coronavirus

  1. The big thing as a person suffering from Bi-Polar Depression I have found is if you spend too much time on the Main Stream News you will get Bi-Polar. Limiting to a check a day, maybe two, and never before bed is the best recipe for mental health which is mental wealth. I also advise getting out away from town and other people and just taking a walk, going fishing, or even doing yard work at home. We need to keep out the clutter of the day from COVID-19 and enjoy life still.

    • I wish they would publish more positive news, but as someone pointed out, good news doesn’t sell. So the next approach is to limit how much of it we watch.

      I am so lucky to live in a place where, to take a walk, all I have to do is get outside and go!  It makes it much easier to persuade myself that I need to walk while the weather is good.

      Yes, it’s important to find ways to enjoy life, even with this threat hanging over us.

  2. Hi Fran.

    A lot of excellent advice here. I think it’s good to have a support system. Unfortunately, not all of us are that fortunate. I know that there are resources here in the UK to help the lonely and abandoned, I just hope that those who need it know where to look (for example, the Campaign to End Loneliness). I am not allowed to leave a link, but there are several charities which offer support to lonely people. Anyone interested, please google “loneliness charities”.

    As for the other advice you give, “Limiting Your Amount of Media Time” couldn’t be more pertinent. There is so much doom and gloom about, even if you’re the happiest person in the world, the media will soon put paid to all that. Until a few weeks ago, I was a news junkie, constantly tuned in to RT, Al Jazeera and YouTube news channels. No longer! Enough already; where’s the *good* news? The unrelenting cycle of unpleasant news is soul-destroying. Now apart from ‘socially distancing’ myself from the news media, I’ve:

    ~ started actively finding things to be grateful for. (When I began this, I thought it was silly, but I’m glad I kept to it because it works. Men in particular, please pay attention and at least, *try it*.)
    ~ practice meditation more regularly. Still not perfect, but I am making the effort.
    ~ at first I used tv as a distraction, but that period has passed, and I am now more sanguine about the future–because I’m letting it come to me in its own good time, instead of constantly rushing out to meet it, with all the attendant stress that entails.
    ~ I began a super project to start small projects with divers people; I glad to report that so far this has produced one series of podcasts, one YouTube channel with a published video, and one article on environmental issues.
    ~ exercise. Humph. ‘Fail’, I’m afraid. I used to exercise very regularly before the lockdown, but I’ve completely let myself go. I’m finding it terrifically hard to get back into it, but I know that eventually, I’ll browbeat myself into fixing it.

    Anyway, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Thanks for the article!

    Kind regards,

    Tayo

    • Good, honest comments.  You appear to know yourself well, and that’s helpful.  Glad you found value in my post.

      As for exercise, here in Alaska it is often not easy to get outside because the weather can be so iffy.  However, that is my “go to” exercise — to walk every nice day.  It’s been helpful…and I really enjoy the air!  It smells so good, with growing things adding their aroma.  Makes it worth going out, just to breathe in the air, and since there is no one nearby, I know it’s safe.

  3. Hello there,  thanks for this very detailed and informativ post on how to cope with corona virus,  I must say that this I really a timely post, as the world goes through this period of pandemic that wasn’t planned it I of great importance the we learn how to cope and structure our lives in order no to be emotionally,  physically or mentally affected by the impact of this virus. Thanks to sharing I really find this post helpful.

    • I am hoping this post can help some people find a way to get through this horrible situation.  Personally, I don’t think the world will be quite the same when this is over, and am very glad I’m an old lady and have lived many years without this kind of fearful situation.

      It is indeed important that we learn how to cope with this virus, and do what is necessary to keep us mentally and physically safe.

  4. Hello Fran. Just on time, I find this article to be truly helpful in coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic. One method I find to be very helpful is having a support system in everything I do from ministry to business and my personal life. Support systems have ways of keeping me motivated and focused at the same time. I am also offering the help and support that I am capable of to others.

    Today, the media has been truncated and it’s filled with so much fake news and has helped to spread fear and panic among us. So I will do my best to limit the time I spend on social media, would spend much of these time in other stuffs that would add value to my life in all areas.

    I am doing all I can to stay positive having faith in God that this Pandemic won’t last long. So many helpful tips you have shared. God bless you.

    • Boy,have you said a mouthful!  It is really hard to know who to trust and who to believe in the media these days. I do believe that limiting the amount of time we spend reading news can be quite  helpful.  I don’t read newspapers, but get enough of the negative feed from this computer.  

      Hope the tips are helpful in getting you through this pandemic.

  5. Hello dear, thanks for sharing these concise article with us, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I believe these is exactly what everyone needs to take in these pandemic times, I really do fancy these post, I’ve already saved these post so as to come back for future reference, thanks for the info   tThanks alot

    • Thanks — I am glad you find the post helpful.  It is so important to keep our positive attitude in spite of all the troubles the world is going through right now.  It is hard to know what to do to help get through these times, and I wanted to give some helpful suggestions.

  6. Hey nice article you have there. Thanks for coming up with such a timely information in time like this. I have learnt a whole lot from this article and I do wish the world at large to have access to this article. With such an amazing tips, one can easily plan and manage their lives and finances to suit the current economy trend. Thanks for contributing your own quota towards the curtailment of Covid 19.

    • Glad you liked the post.  I don’t feel it’s the be-all or end-all; just a few ideas that might help us get through this crisis.  I think the most important thing is for us to keep a positive attitude, as living in fear is not good.  If we can look for the good and stay positive, I think we can get through this pandemic much easier.

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