Coping in the Time of Coronavirus
2020 has been a rough year for all of us, and it may feel easiest to sit down after a long day of virtual learning, work, job searching, or parenting and zone out. This zoning out is actually a protective factor; a way for our brains to protect us from whatever unpleasant events are happening around us. While we can appreciate all the help we can get from our brains, zoning out might not always be the best option in a more long and drawn-out situation, like a global pandemic.
Learning to face the discomfort and find ways to deal with the overwhelming emotions will ultimately lead us towards better mental health.
Journaling provides your thoughts and feelings an out- no more stuffing them down, no more hiding them, no more carrying the weight of the anxiety and fear. Keep a daily or weekly journal to process how your week went. It doesn’t have to look a certain way or be a certain quality. If you feel stumped, look up journal prompts for wherever you are struggling- anxiety, self- compassion, depression , etc.
Moving your body seems like a no-brainer but it’s easier said than done sometimes. Movement doesn’t have to mean high intensity exercise though; it can include dancing with your family, laying down on the floor to stretch and twist your body, talking a 15 minute walk, a short yoga class on YouTube or through a local yoga studio (many are offering low cost, online classes), or playing a game in the yard.
Making and creating art, whether its coloring in a coloring book, constructing a model, or knitting a scarf, helps to calm and soothe our nervous systems. Creating art also allows us to process stress and emotions nonverbally and helps to regulate our reactivity to what’s happening around us.
Mindfulness and Meditation
You probably expected this one to be on the list, but it can really help! Mindfulness and meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in silence on the floor, breathing for 30 minutes. The whole idea is to focus on the here and now, without judgement. Try going on a mindfulness walk - while you’re walking, count all the yellow things you can find.
When to Get Professional Help
If coping skills are no longer working, or you are unable to get a handle on your thoughts and emotions, consider seeking counseling to address anxiety and depression. Counseling is a safe and non-judgmental environment to start learning more about how you can function better in the world. Reach out to us for a consultation- we offer anxiety counseling, depression counseling, family counseling and many more types of counseling in Georgetown, Texas.