It’s been one year since COVID-19 became one of the most common terms in our vocabulary. It’s been a hard year, filled with the consequences of a “once in a hundred years” pandemic.
We’ve adapted to unexpected changes to our daily routines and our way of life. Our usual coping skills are put to the test on a daily basis. Stress has been a constant.
How do we keep going? How do we keep a hopeful, positive attitude?
The first thing is to acknowledge and accept that none of this is “normal.” We are used to crises that resolve within a matter of days or weeks, not a global crisis of this magnitude. However, through difficulty comes resilience.
Resilience is our ability to adapt to loss and changes to get to a place of learning and growth. Resilience can help us cope with stress, overcome adversity, and enjoy the better days to come.
Here are some ideas for staying resilient during difficult times:
Connect with supportive people in safe ways. Stay connected to positive relationships with loved ones and friends who can provide you with support and acceptance. Talk with friends on the phone or a Zoom call. Attend a virtual church service. Or, set up a virtual coffee or lunch date. It’s the human connection—hearing the right words, seeing someone’s smile—that can make all the difference to how you’re feeling.
Take care of your needs. Even if you’re working from home follow a daily schedule — exercise, shower, get dressed, make your bed and prepare for your day. Eat food that supports your health. Get plenty of sleep. And find a relaxing way to spend your downtime. Read a good book. Watch a funny movie. Listen to music. Take up a hobby. Make time for self-care.
Think of at least one good thing each day. It might be very simple: I taught my daughter how to access the library online, or my family and I ate a good dinner. Expressing gratitude each day is a healthy way to counterbalance feelings of unease or worry.
Spend time outdoors. Getting fresh air outside is an important way to destress and recharge. Stepping away from your work or daily routine to go outside can help clear your thoughts. This can help improve your concentration and mood.
Think about what you’ve learned during COVID. How can you use those things to make a new goal? Resilient people see change as an opportunity to align priorities and purpose.
We know we’ll eventually get through this difficult time. The vaccine is helping. The number of people testing positive is decreasing. Hospitalizations and deaths have also begun to decrease. Spring is coming.
We’re slowly getting back to life. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s keep moving forward.