For those of us navigating this new reality of life, change is inevitable. How we adjust to that change can influence how we adapt to these challenging times. If you are feeling like you are in a COVID-19 funk, you are not alone. Read along to find some helpful suggestions for dealing with your new reality.
Examine your daily schedule. Take a look at your daily schedule. Do you have a balance of work, leisure, exercise, chores, time with family? When things in our world are upended and our schedules change, things can get out of balance. Use our current situation of change to your advantage. Examine your daily activities and see if they align with your life priorities. It can be helpful to map out your ideal daily schedule, putting the important things in first. If something doesn't feel like it aligns with your priorities, or you find that it just doesn't fit into the schedule after you put in the necessities, you can try a trial period of getting rid of it. You can always tweak the schedule later if it's not working. The important thing is to be purposeful and mindful about your time so that your schedule does not become stagnant.
Reach out. Right now it is more important than ever to reach out for help if you need it. Call a friend. Hug a family member. With much less social interaction these days, you likely will need to be much more proactive to ensure that you are getting your social needs met. You may have to be more creative and resourceful than normal. You may need to rely on technology more than you normally would care to. You may have to have more 'virtual' contact in order to get your needs met. It's important to monitor your mental health and check in with others on a regular basis.
Exercise. One of the best mood-boosters of all can be exercise. It can give your mind a break and get you out of the house. If you are staring at a computer screen for work or school all day, it is so helpful to take short breaks and get outside for exercise. Exercise can be small ten minute increments of just taking a walk outside to get a breath of fresh air. Oftentimes when we work in an office building, short walks are built into our day (walking from the car to the office, walking around the office or school building, etc.) so you may need to be purposeful about building those exercise breaks into your day if you are home all day.
Know you are not alone. This is an unprecedented time. It goes without saying that right now we are facing challenges that we have never encountered in our lifetimes. Simply taking the time to remember that you are not alone in your struggles can help ease anxiety. It won't fix the situation, but it can help to bring an awareness to your being that you are not alone. We will get through this together.
Reach out to help someone else. Sometimes all it takes to get us out of a funk is to reach out to someone else that may be in worse of a situation and help them. While we may be dealing with many personal challenges, there is always someone who can use our help and who would be grateful for your caring support. If you don't have money, donate your time. If you don't have time, ask what you can do that would be helpful. It is important that we band together to support one another.
Get help. Sometimes we are doing all of the 'right' things and we still need more help. We can be exercising, reaching out, being purposeful about our daily schedule and still find that we can't get out of our funk. It's ok to reach out to a professional. Sometimes all it takes is a few sessions with a therapist to work through it. It takes strength to admit you need help and to reach out.
If you would like to reach out to a professional for help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyrena is a licensed mental health counselor. Visit her website at www.greyferncounseling.com