Due to the impact of the Corona virus, we currently live in times where self-isolation and social distancing is the norm. The pandemic has affected each and every one of us differently. We’ve had to make necessary adjustments in order to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and yet, despite these trying circumstances, there is still hope. A glimmering ray of light at the end of the tunnel which promises that everything is going to be okay.
Trying to survive each day can be challenging. However, it is possible to handle stress and anxiety in order manage your emotions.
- Count your blessings.
Gratitude is both effective and powerful. For instance, research has shown that gratitude lowers your risk of mental health issues, helps on your ability to cope with stress and it can also improve your immune system. Another perk is that it sets you up for success too! Making it particularly useful during these trying times.
Which leads to the question, what are the ways that you can practice gratitude? Below are a few tips.
- Keep a gratitude journal: where you count your blessings each day. What are the good things that happened to you? What are you thankful for? If this is your first time in keeping a gratitude journal, you can start with a list of ten things. Jotting these down can lift your mood as it makes you realize that you are still experiencing pockets of positivity throughout your day. In the long run, it also helps to develop a gratitude mindset.
- Make time for yourself: though most of us are staying at home, devote some time for yourself. Pamper yourself or exercise. You will be grateful later on.
- Savor positive moments: when you find yourself enjoying in doing something- a conversation, a meal, a movie- savor the experience.
- Focus on the small things: if you are finding it hard to find the positive, focus on the small things. Did you cook an awesome meal today? That’s an achievement, not everyone knows how to cook.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”Matthew 11 : 28-30
Nothing is more comforting than spending time with God in prayer. When times get rough, the most effective response it to pray. Let Him be your healer and comforter.
Additionally, On May 14, 2020, individuals from different religions worldwide offered a prayer for humanity to end the pandemic too. Though the date has passed, you can still be a part of this movement and offer a prayer for humanity.
Below are catholic websites which can serve as your guide:
If you prefer praying with a group, you can also check out your local community if they are hosting group prayers via zoom.
3. Distract yourself or find a hobby.
When something horrible happens to us, we tend to ruminate and replay the negative scenario in our minds repeatedly. It can be very difficult to stop ruminating and repetitive rumination contributes to depression, making an individual feel even more sad and worried. Leading them to think negatively of themselves. Lastly, it can reduce motivation and cause the individual to experience more stress.
So what are the ways that we can overcome rumination?
- Distract yourself: Engaging in pleasant activities such as watching a movie, playing a video game or chatting with family and friends can help to overcome rumination.
- Write it down: If you are a shy or a private person, writing is an option. It is a therapeutic experience which helps you to just pour out your thoughts and it can also help you to identify the triggers which cause you to ruminate.
- Get therapy: if you find that you’re really depressed, a trained professional can help you to overcome your situation.
4. Don’t over emphasize being happy or productive.
These days, there is an emphasis on being happy and being productive while on quarantine. This can actually be very unhealthy and it can also be insensitive because we are all affected by this pandemic in different degrees.
Recognizing and acknowledging your emotions can be difficult, particularly if you’ve had painful past experiences which has caused you to be guarded and push down your emotions. However, it is important to recognize your emotions in order to heal from them. You don’t have to force yourself to be bubbly and cheerful when deep inside, all you just want to do is cry. You don’t need to pressure yourself to learn a new language when you are finding it difficult to concentrate because of the ordeal that you’re facing.
Your feelings are valid and it’s okay to not feel okay. Take the time to process your emotions, reach out to the people who love and care for you, and heal.
I do hope that you have found the four tips above useful in helping you get through the ordeal. When things are getting particularly challenging, remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.