Knowing that most of you are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to share some thoughts I’ve had for how to cope with the challenges you’re facing as a result. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or unsure about what to do; this is uncharted territory for us all.

The most important thing you can do is to TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF; because this is a pre-requisite to doing our best to help others. (Think “put your oxygen mask on first.”) And working together, helping each other, is how we will triumph in this very trying period. Think of self-care as having two steps: first, being aware of how you’re doing and then taking steps to improve the situation.

How’s your mood?

There are no wrong feelings during this challenging time, you may feel anxious, down, or a combination of the two. Consider taking your emotional pulse every day. You can do this by asking yourself, “What am I feeling right now?”. Notice how you feel physically and mentally. Are you scared, nervous, down, feeling powerless, maybe irritable or easily frustrated? Are you having difficulty concentrating, feeling tired (even if you’ve been getting enough sleep), or have little energy? Just take note, without any judgment. This is a time to be very accepting of yourself and others. Judgment isn’t kind, and it takes energy away from where you can use it… planning and doing things to shift your mood to a better balance. Then ask yourself, “What do I need?” Be as specific as you can so you can get into action right away to get more comfortable. Maybe it’s some exercise, more sleep, less sleep, different food, perhaps trying something physical to vent some anger, or a good cry if you’re down and have been bottling it up. If you notice you’re feeling anxious, look to establish a daily routine, especially if yours has been disrupted because you’re working at home or are suddenly not working. Having specific tasks will help you to feel grounded. And a daily plan means less decision-making, which can be harder at a stressful time. You just have to follow your schedule. Some people’s equilibrium doesn’t thrive with many hours of unstructured time. Learn what works best for you so you can set yourself up for better mood balance.

What you need may vary from day-to-day. That’s why I want you to check in with yourself at least once a day. Some days it may help you to feel informed by hearing news or being on social media. On other days, if you notice that makes you nervous or feel powerless, you may want to take a break. That may be a day for some exercise or meditation, or talking and laughing with someone.

Depending on the level of isolation measures where you live, some of you may be feeling the strain of sharing limited space with your family or roommates. You may want to create opportunities to be apart, to be alone, and get still. If you’re living by yourself right now, and you’re feeling a sense of loneliness creep in, please remember that you are not alone. Yes, you may have to work harder right now, figuring out new ways to create connections with others because the pandemic prohibits social contact. Realize that there is a lot you can do to make this stressful time less difficult. I know it takes planning, but it’s well worth it for you to feel better.

Be flexible and open to new ideas. If any of your go-to’s for well-being and human connection are temporarily unavailable, your willingness to be creative and try new ways to feel better and be in touch with people is vital right now. It may not come naturally to call or email people because you usually just get to see them. Being flexible will make a lot more possible for you.

You are not alone in your feelings. Don’t be afraid to talk about the anxiety you’re feeling. Your willingness to talk about it may help the people you’re in touch with.

If you don’t know who to talk to or don’t know where to start, please contact me at any time. I am here for you.

Stay healthy. ♥

Author's Bio: 

Lee Odescalchi is a coach and licensed psychologist. She has coached and counseled clients, just like you, looking for more fulfilling lives. Her unique approach uses the most effective methods of personal development and performance strategies. She does this while addressing issues from the past that have led to self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of your success. Lee also empowers people to “get out of their own way” and maximize their strengths so they can produce extraordinary results… in any area of their life.