As the world battles a silent and invisible pandemic, another health problem is set to arise amid these trying times. While Bill Gates and other researchers had expected a virus to hit the population, many did not think it would happen in this lifetime. People — even governments — were not ready for this tragedy to happen. Now, as everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing, a lot of people are left in isolation and unable to access coping mechanisms.
The pandemic has brought about so many uncertainties that cause stress among people, especially those with mental health issues: “the uncertainty of the future, the uncontrollability of the virus’ effects and the endurance of the pandemic and its effect on the economy.” While people are trying to get through this difficult situation, here are a few ways to cope with the stress, isolation — and possibly, boredom:
Make good use of the internet.
The good thing about the internet is that it makes communication easier. You can be on the other side of the world and still talk to your loved ones. Set up a video call on any app and have a good conversation about dealing with the isolation. Plus, science has proven that talking about your problems helps ease the burden.
Additionally, the internet is filled with content. You can shop for gluten-free desserts, stay in bed, and watch Netflix or YouTube. You can even hide under your blanket and read stories from your favorite websites.
Read a book.
The great thing about reading a book is that all you need is a good light source. If you read during a sunny day, the cost of that just happens to be free. You can craft a bookmark out of anything — leftover cardstock, a brochure, or a receipt. Getting started on a book is easy. It’s the finishing part that leaves most of us winded. But there might be plenty of books on your bookshelf that you haven’t pored over. They need your attention. And if you have finished your library, maybe it’s time to revisit a favorite.
Allow yourself some quiet time.
While keeping busy distracts you from stress and anxiety, it’s essential to tune in to yourself and listen to your emotions. Yes, everything is overwhelming, which is why it’s essential to take a few minutes of the day to let your mind wander and watch where it’s going. This kind of awareness can ground you to the present and aid you in sorting out problems and solutions.
Recognizing your feelings allows you to deal with them head-on. This requires “taking your emotional temperature,” as Joan Cusack Handler Ph.D. puts it. You might need to ask yourself questions about identifying your feelings and stressors. If you find yourself judging your emotions and why you feel them, remember that your feelings are valid.
The COVID-19 pandemic offers a challenging time for every single person in the world. However, there are little things people can do to relieve their stress and cope with the growing anxiety of the future.