1) Finding structure and routine
By now, your normal routine has likely been disrupted for many reasons. More and more online resources are becoming available to help people rebuild routine while social distancing. Set small goals for the day. Try to find a balance between pleasure and mastery activities. Pleasurable activities are things you enjoy doing. Perhaps join an online workout, a card game, or read a good book. Mastery are tasks that you need to do, that give you a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps cleaning or organizing your house, doing laundry etc. Optimal mental health is achieved when people set an intention to have a balance between pleasure and mastery activity.
2) Focus on what you can control
Focus on the parts of this experience that you can control. Commit to maintaining a healthy diet. Perhaps this is a time to learn new recipes. Try to commit to 30 minutes of exercise per day. Try to get some fresh air. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
3) Focus on the present
In these uncertain times, thoughts about the future may lead to distress and extreme anxiety. it is natural to think about the future and the unknowns. However, as best you can, try to focus on the present moment, living day to day. We can not control the future- when the pandemic will end, when we will resume normal living. What we can control or try to cultivate, is an intention to pay attention to the present moment.
4) Connect with loved ones
Even though you may not be able to physically connect with loved ones, we can still connect virtually. Make time to reach out to those you love. Perhaps this is a time to reconnect with long lost friends and family. During the busyness of our lives, it is hard to keep these connections going. Perhaps this period of slowing down will give us the time to make the time for those we care about.
5) Find meaning in life
A famous psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in 1946 after surviving the Holocaust. In his book, he describes how he found meaning during suffering. In difficult times, we can find meaning even in the little things. Your life has meaning and you can find it in any given moment.
It can be hard to implement healthy coping skills on your own. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety or depression, seek out a psychologist to help you during this time. A psychologist can help people cope during difficult circumstances. Appointments can be made using video conferencing.