Over the past year, many of us have become tired of the COVID – 19 prevention measures that we must follow. Many of us are desperate to go back to life without isolation, sanitization protocols, and constant discussions about the illness. However, it is important now more than ever to follow the guidelines that are in place in order to prevent the spread further in this second wave. This will be a challenge for many of us: How do we keep ourselves from solely focusing on COVID-19 and becoming exhausted and, therefore, less careful?
One of the most challenging parts of preventing the spread of COVID-19 is the extended periods of isolation. This prevents many from seeing friends and family, leaving people feeling lonely and sad due to lack of human contact. Many people are tired and want to spend time with those they love so, it is important to take any opportunity to talk to those in different ways other than in person. There are many ways to connect with people with modern technology if you have the time to learn how to use it. There is always traditional calling or texting however, it may be worth your while to also use, or learn how to use, platforms like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. These platforms give you the opportunity to see another person while speaking to them, making the interaction feel closer to in-person communication. In addition, you may want to try a different form of social media, such as Reddit, where you can feel a part of a community and have a collective conversation. You can even post anonymously, making a place where you can express yourself without worrying about personal judgement. This will be beneficial as an outlet as it allows you to connect with others outside your social circle going through similar situations or in your area going through the same lockdown. This is important to invest in as the more we socialize remotely with others during times like these, the less likely it is for us to be tempted to socialize in person.
Limit constant exposure to COVID-19 related news:
Although technology can be a blessing in times like these, when we need to connect with our loved ones remotely, it can also be a negative aspect in our lives at home. Social media and news outlets can be a continuous reminder of COVID-19 and its negative effects on the world. Although it is important to stay up to date with what is going on, a continuous reminder can really overwhelm you and be somewhat of a stressor in your life. It may be beneficial for you or your family to try to limit that stressor. You can try to schedule times throughout your day wherein you put your devices away or turn off the TV. It may be hard to put all your devices away if you work from home, therefore you can try to block all non-work notifications instead. You can take this time, away from screens or notifications, to practice some self-care and focus only on what is in front of you. An example of self-care is participating in a hobby you love, by yourself or with those at home. It is important to take time away for yourself, so you don’t always feel overwhelmed.
Keep yourself busy
While you are taking time to focus on yourself and trying not to be overwhelmed by COVID-19, it can help your mind and body to keep yourself active. Moderate levels of activity are a great way to keep yourself busy and will lift your mood. You may want to try new exercises at home, such as following along with a yoga or workout video. You can also try activities that keep you busy, such as jigsaw puzzles and board games, which are both great ways to get the whole family involved. There are also several types of videos out there that are free that you can learn different games, crafts, or exercises that you may enjoy. This will be beneficial for you as you try and stay home to protect yourself and others. So, when you start to feel that dreaded COVID fatigue set in, you can acknowledge that it’s really hard, and has gone on for a very long time, so it makes sense to feel tired of it all. After you allow yourself to feel frustrated or bored or sad, you can also try using self-compassion or some positive strategies to reward yourself for doing your part.
Suggestions for Boosting Your COVID Coping!
- Try a new way to connect with others remotely.
- Free video calling platforms like Zoom and Skype have never been more popular, and if you haven’t yet, you may want to try them out!
- Limit constant exposure to COVID-19 related news.
- Pick up a new craft or hobby that interests you.
- Some possible ideas are: playing a new instrument, painting, soapmaking, coding, photography, calligraphy and journaling
- Check out this page for some inspiration: https://parade.com/1038103/jessicasager/hobbies-to-pick-up-during-quarantine/
- Eat healthy foods and have consistent meals.
- Here is Canada’s food guide: Tips for healthy eating https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/tips-for-healthy-eating/
- Exercise regularly.
- Try using at home workshop videos such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1piFN_ioMVI
- Keep a regular sleep schedule.
- Check out this page to find out if you’re getting enough sleep: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-adults-getting-enough-sleep-infographic.html
- Practice deep breaths and meditation when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Goodful on YouTube has a great 10-minute meditation for anxiety
- Set aside time to practice self-care.
- For example, Yoga with Adriene on YouTube offers a wonderful 10-minute yoga video for self-care
- Keep a consistent daily schedule.
- The calendar within your email will allow you to sync all your events and activities with your smartphone
- Alternatively, a pen-and-paper planner or sticky notes as reminders work just as well
- Remind yourself who we are keeping safe when tempted to break COVID-19 recommendations.
If you follow any of these suggestions, you may feel a little more fulfilled, or even develop a new skill…and it may carry over even when the lockdown is over.