At the beginning of this year, no one could have imagined how our world would be turned upside down in a matter of weeks. Who could have predicted that we would be in self-quarantine, under lockdown and practising social distancing? The world looks different today. The streets are quiet, there is little traffic, and no one is playing in the parks.
What about everyone’s home life? Never in my mind did I consider that my work would completely disappear or that I wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday with him due to government guidelines. I suspect no one had considered that they, too, might be in similar predicaments. But really, how could you? The world changed drastically in a matter of weeks.
Throughout this pandemic, we see heroic efforts on the front lines. Thank you to every keyworker for what you do for all of us but doing your part. No doubt we must all play our roles. Practice safe measures, social distancing and staying at home to prevent spreading the virus. The seriousness and lack of control over the current situation cannot be missed. However, many of us need to reframe our current thinking and choose not to panic. Let’s decide to take control of what we can.
Here are a few tips for wellbeing when the Coronavirus makes you feel hopeless
1. Find new ways to meet.
We are social beings, and we need to connect. Think of ways you can reach out to your loved ones. It may be by phone, email, Zoom, google hangouts, Facebook or WhatsApp. Don’t let social distancing become social isolation. Stay connected. Something as little as sending uplifting messages, helpful information, or funny YouTube videos will make others laugh. Zoom and google meetings are great for seeing those far-away loved ones. Enjoy an online quiz, sign up for the Macmillan whodunnit murder mystery or throw a Netflix party. Get creative to stay connected.
2. Get creative
I am inspired by how people are igniting their creativity during this testing time. I don’t just mean the significant companies pooling their resources. See how you too can ignite your creativity and dare to think outside of the box. Locally we have had fancy dress outfits for the Thursday night NHS clap. Others have started a teddy bear hunt for children on their daily walks. One local shop has had an art student turning submitted children’s drawings into crocheted creations for their rainbow display. Try writing down your ideas and get creative!
3. Keep dreaming.
Boredom is not allowed to creep in. Use your imagination and make a list of your talents and your gifts. Start thinking, writing, having conversations with your covid buddies. Now is the time to evaluate what is important to you and envision something for your future. For instance, I may be homebound, but I am not locked up. I am working every day to improve my home, my body and to become a more content version of myself. We are still free to dream and to imagine. So, I say, dream on!
We have some choices to make, and yes, of course, we are all concerned about COVID-19. However, we need to be able to stop fear and anxiety from getting the best of us. We can acknowledge our concerns and our worries and practice safe measures for ourselves and our families. At the moment, we don’t have a lot of control, besides how we respond to this pandemic. Don’t let it get the best of you.
Many therapists are offering telephone therapy in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Read this article on the BetterHelp website to start your search for a licensed and compassionate therapist who practices online.