“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”
― Alain de Botton
There’s no denying the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has rapidly and abruptly changed how we live, work, and play. As the threat of the virus continues, we are navigating a new normal and figuring out how guidance for social distancing and mask wearing fits into our daily routine.
You may be experiencing a range of emotions – stress, anxiety, confusion, frustration – as you figure out what your normal looks like amid this pandemic. You are not alone in this challenge as millions around the world are weathering the same storm.
Here are a few ideas to help adjust and build resilience during challenging times:
Focus on what you can control
Focusing on the things you can’t control, like the course of the pandemic and actions of others, will only fuel frustration and stress. Instead, focus on things you can control, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and maintaining your daily routine.
It’s important to approach this new normal with flexible expectations. Just as coronavirus guidance is ever evolving, your expectations should shift and match reality. Resilient people continually reevaluate and focus on new goals.
Inside and out of the home, be accepting and polite to others as everyone may be feeling stressed during the pandemic. Collaboration, compassion, cheering people on, and learning from this overall experience will help you connect with others.
Find a routine
As the pandemic seems unpredictable, setting a routine for yourself can help you stay productive and active. Take care of yourself and schedule time for physical and emotional health, social connection, and stress relief.
Not everyone is navigating the pandemic the same way and may have different viewpoints on measures such as mask wearing and social distancing. Respectfully set your boundaries with family, friends, and co-workers. Once again, focus on what you can control in your life.
Take breaks from upsetting content
Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and create unnecessary anxiety. Set limits for yourself on how much media you consume. If you find yourself getting overly upset and anxious when reading the news, take a break from the media.
Spend time on activities that build resilience
Meditate, check in with friends and family, offer to help a neighbor, keep a gratitude journal, exercise, spend time outdoors, stick to a routine, and set aside time for things that bring you joy.
Creating a “power hour” can help you take your productivity to the next level. Learn more about the “power hour” here.
Since the pandemic is still evolving, get up-to-date information about coronavirus activity and guidance from your local public health authorities, the CDC, and the World Health Organization. If you are feeling stressed or anxious navigating your new normal, contact a licensed mental health professional.
Many employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides mental health services. Check your benefits plan to see what support is available.