The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be highly stressful for everyone for a variety of reasons. Many are unable to work or operate their businesses; some are wondering if their businesses will even survive. People are longing to see family and friends, and are feeling isolated and depressed. Those whose jobs are operative worry about contracting the virus and/or transmitting it to a loved one at home, while family members at home are worried about the working family member(s) possibly contracting the virus. There is also the underlying fear of this situation happening again, or just not going away for a long time.
Here are 7 tips that can help you cope during this difficult time:
1. Reach Out
Reach out to others via phone, text, Skype, Zoom, Messenger, etc. You will find that nearly everyone is having similar feelings of isolation and uncertainty about the current situation, and about the future. Talking with others will help you realize you’re not alone in your feelings.
2. Do Tasks at Home You've Been Putting Off
Make a list of those things you’ve always wanted to do in your house that you never have time to do. Is it cleaning out a closet? Cleaning out a back bedroom? Organizing your office? Cleaning out and organizing your email? Make a decision to concentrate on completing one or more of these types of home tasks. It will give you a sense of accomplishment, keep the worrying at bay, and also unburden your space and prepare for a more organized future.
3. Take a Walk
Take a walk (or two) every day if you are able to do so. Please make sure to use social distancing of at least 6 feet when encountering people who do not reside with you. If you live in an area where there are not a lot of other people walking in the same space, you probably don’t need to wear a mask, although it’s a good idea to have it with you. If you live in a more heavily populated area, it’s best to wear a mask on your walk.
4. Do an At-Home Workout
There are copious videos on YouTube of home workouts. One of my patients recently made me aware of the following: Jane Fonda: Walking Cardio Workout : Level 1
, which she said gives an excellent, low impact aerobic exercise session, “that doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to pull a muscle!” Try this one, and/or look for a video that’s right for you, but please don’t overdo it. Also, look into beginning Tai Chi and/or yoga videos.
5. Take an Online Class
There are numerous free online classes available. Here are some links to free online courses we’ve come across for everything from learning languages, history and art, to courses that can help you begin to learn another skill set to possibly use for future employment. Are you interested in learning a new language? Check out Duolingo
. Are you interested in history and the arts? Check out the free courses on OpenLearn
. Do you need/want to learn new skills in coding, web development, etc., for future employment? Check out UDemyFreeCourses.org
Setting aside time once or twice a day to quiet your mind, slow your breathing, and meditate and/or pray has been shown in studies to help alleviate stress.1,2
This is very helpful during this time of stress and uncertainty. Again, there are many videos on YouTube which can help guide you through a relaxing meditation. Here is a 10-Minute Meditation for Anxiety
one of my patients recommended. Try this one, or find something that’s right for you.
7. Eat Healthily
Eat as healthily as possible and take your dietary supplements
. Keeping your gut microbiome
(the seat of your immune system) healthy with a diet rich in vegetables and some fruits, nuts, legumes and healthy fats is very important for both your mental and physical health.3
Try to incorporate some of these coping ideas, and keep youself and your family as protected as much as possible from the COVID-19 virus by following the basic rules outlined by the CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others
. Also, check our blogpost: “COVID-19: What’s on the Horizon?
” for more detailed information on masks, testing, etc.
The Doctor Emi Team
1. SHYAM, G. (2020). USING BREATHING AND MEDITATIVE TECHNIQUES TO DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY AND ANXIETY: A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Society Register, 4(2), 149-158. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2020.4.2.11
2. Yanyu, J., Xi, Y., Huiqi, T., Bangjiang, F., Bin, L., Yabin, G., … Lijun, J. (2020, March 20). Meditation-based interventions might be helpful for coping with the Coronavirus disease 2019 （COVID-19）. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/f3xzq
3. Harlin S. Self-Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic, An Evidence-Based Approach. https://drharlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Summary-v2.0.p