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Coping with the Difficulties of the Pandemic

By: Christa Harness, LBSW

As we enter the third year of the COVID pandemic, it appears the difficulties and stress of living during this time may not be coming to an end. We all handle stress and difficulties differently. So, let’s do a refresher of the building blocks of coping with difficult situations.

  1. Maintain Routines. Daily routines help keep us grounded in normalcy. Even if you’re still working from home or back at your place of business, keep your daily routine the same. Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. Work your normal hours whether you are working from home or working in your office. Whatever your activities were on the weekends try to maintain those as best as possible. It’s also important to maintain your relationship routines. Just because life is interrupted by the pandemic in certain ways, it’s important not to neglect date nights with your significant other. Being with and doing things with someone you love is a great way to relieve stress.
  2. Meet Your Personal Needs. Self-care is important to both our mental and physical health. Neglecting your personal needs, such as tending to your daily hygiene, eating healthy and not moving your body enough, can be debilitating both physically and mentally. Incorporating these needs back into our routines helps us recapture a sense of normalcy.
  3. Stay Connected. English poet, John Donne coined the phrase, ‘No man is an island.’ The meaning of the phrase conveys the idea that human beings suffer when isolated from others. We need to be connected to community. Whether your community consists of a church group, a book club, a neighborhood, a civic group or family, make sure you stay connected with others. As we saw at the mid-mark of this pandemic, humans were thirsty for connection with others. Allow yourself to connect with others in whatever way is comfortable for you.
  4. Seek Professional Help. No one in our lifetime has lived in a pandemic until now. This is new to all of us. If you are struggling to cope or reduce your stress, talk to your primary care provider or contact our Behavioral Health department at 812.933.5406.