Having difficulty functioning during this stressful year? Try these steps to help focus and cope daily:
1. Find a safe/secure place.
• This might be a challenge when quarantined, however feeling secure is important in order to explore and check in with ones thoughts and feelings. A secure place could be in a closet with the door locked, on a couch covered with a blanket, in you car parked somewhere private, in the garage, in the backyard, or even on a walk. The important thing is feeling safe enough to reflect on thoughts and emotions.
2. Create a timeline of events • Plot all events regarding COVID-19 from the first time you heard about it to most recent. Include how you felt, what reaction you noticed in your body, and what message you took away (ex: I am not safe, I am not in control).
3. Create a journal • Write down thoughts and feelings daily. List what you did, who you talked to, what you created, what you are thankful for and/or what you are looking forward to.
4. Call/Skype/Zoom/Marco Polo a friend or family member • Talk to someone you trust online and compare stories. Open up about what you are finding stressful, shocking, overwhelming or irritating.
5. Find a hobby or healthy way of coping • Coping skills do work. Learn an instrument, draw, color, write, bake, play with clay, hike, get a pet, sew, craft, design, or collect something!
6. Manage anxiety • Schedule time for worry. If you find yourself worrying throughout the day, keep a stack of post it notes or a journal and write down the worries as they come into your head.
7. Schedule your day • Make a schedule for each day of the week. Include in your schedule breaks for enjoyable things.
8. Allow yourself to dream • Write a list of things that can’t wait to be able to do again.
9. Practice good self-care • You are important! Caring for you includes staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods, exercising, and sleeping a healthy amount. Self-care also includes: taking a bath or shower, maintaining good hygiene and even reading things that are encouraging mentally and spiritually.
10. Give yourself grace • This is a very odd time. It is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Find encouraging things to say to yourself to validate and support you needing more time to complete a project or needing to step away from a commitment for a bit and re evaluate your priorities.