The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted all of us. While some are dealing with the illness, or possibly even the death, of a loved one, others are struggling to adjust to what is being called “the new normal” in regard to social distancing and quarantine guidelines that have been implemented nationwide.
So, what is the best way to handle the tidal wave of emotions? Although there certainly is not one clear-cut formula, here are some suggestions and practices that can help ease some of the anxiety during this time of uncertainty:
- Reach out and connect with others through simple activities such as a phone call or a shout out to a neighbor on the porch, in the yard, or walking the neighborhood.
- Move around; stay active through exercise, whether simple things like walking or gardening or more challenging goals.
- Go to bed at a set time and get plenty of rest.
- Bathe, dress, and groom normally each day; develop a feeling of presentability to bolster your sense of control over your appearance.
- Manage your media and information intake, getting information only from reliable sources.
- Get the facts rather than binge listen to talking heads.
- Think through a new daily routine and stick with it, setting goals for each part of your day.
- Do things you’ve put off such as organizing photos, trying new recipes, straightening closets, attics, garages, etc.
- Focus on a neglected hobby such as reading, sewing, working in the yard, or working puzzles.
- Find creative ways to do games such as chess or Scrabble with neighbors or family members through video or phone calls.
- Keep your mind active with activities like reading, writing letters, crossword puzzles, Sudokus, adult coloring books.
- Talk about your worries with a trusted friend.
- Practice deep breathing exercises and routine stretches of various muscle groups.
- Set aside time each day to sit on the porch or look out the window and really observe God’s good creation.
- Steward your groceries and supplies wisely, thinking through practical steps to resupply without adding stress.
- Continue to take your medications as prescribed.
- Sing or play uplifting songs.
- Read or quote favorite passages of Scripture.
- Read through the Psalms on a structured plan – a Psalm a day or up to five Psalms a day.
- Above all, do not let physical distancing lead to social isolation.
— Compiled by Sing Oldham