Life as we knew it has changed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our entire lives have been turned upside down with the loss of jobs, halted projects, not seeing our loved ones, and feeling isolated.
It is a scary time, and many people feel as though their life is spiraling out of control. Staying at home and social distancing rules require us to change how we live and work.
Just when we thought we were nearing the end of the Pandemic, we see all over the news that there is a second wave coming or is already here.
According to Forbes, even though the “first wave” never really ended in the United States, we are anticipating a “second wave” of a surge in Covid-19 cases to occur in late Fall and Winter.
WHO is warning that Canada faces a second wave of Covid-19 cases, with nearly 80% occurring in Ontario and Quebec.
Positive cases of Coronavirus are spiking again in Europe to record numbers. Governments are strongly considering future lockdowns while imposing strict local measures to stop a second wave.
Here We Go Again
The first wave caused enough havoc in our lives. Now we must be concerned about a second wave. Not only do we worry about health and financial issues, but many also face home-dynamic difficulties.
The global pandemic has put most of the world on edge. Many of us are glued to our TVs watching the news, monitoring the number of cases and hospitalizations, and trying to protect ourselves and loved ones from getting sick.
Now, more than ever, we need to think about ways to make our lives easier and manage the current situation while adjusting to a new normal.
Below are a few suggestions to help you cope during trying times.
Follow a Routine
Before the pandemic hit, we followed a daily routine almost on autopilot. Then wham! COVID-19 changed everything. Because humans are creatures of habit, knowing what to expect by following schedules and plans makes us feel more secure and comfortable.
Many of us lose track of days and time when our regular daily routines are replaced with quarantines and other unknowns. Even though our days will look different for an undetermined period, it is crucial to establish a new schedule.
Although it is easy to stay in our pajamas all day, we should establish a new but flexible normal to maintain mental and emotional well-being.
For example, when working from home, set up a dedicated office workspace. If the room has a door, shutting it when the workday is over helps switch off work mode.
When a home office is in an open space such as a living room or kitchen, clear the workspace or close the computer to indicate that working hours are over.
Structuring and planning each day can improve focus, productivity, and organization. It will also provide a sense of control.
We are living in stressful times. Between the global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest, we must make a concerted effort to pay attention to our physical and mental health.
Not only does physical activity or exercise improve physical health, but it also releases endorphins to boost our mood and reduce stress. Gym rats whose gyms are closed can look for fitness websites and apps to continue their workouts at home.
Getting up and moving around is essential even for those who do not follow strict exercise regimens. Go for walks, do stretching exercises, or take an online yoga class.
When you are spending more time at home, it is a great time to start getting physically fit.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy improves fitness, as well as physical and emotional well-being. Limit sugar and processed foods by eating more fresh produce. A healthy diet is not an all or none proposition. We do not need to entirely eliminate all the food or treats we enjoy.
Instead, strive for moderation and try to eat a balanced diet of fat, protein, fiber, minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins.
Manage Mental and Emotional Health
It is easy to feel anxious, overwhelmed, impatient, frustrated, and powerless during the pandemic. While feeling this way is expected and normal, there are some things we can do to reduce these negative feelings.
Learning to relax is an important step. Deep breathing, visualization, and meditation are relaxation techniques that are simple to do by following the steps below:
- Focus on a repetitive image, word, action, or breath
- Try to be positive by letting go of negative thoughts
- Practice these techniques daily
It also helps to focus on the positives. Be grateful for and appreciate the good things we do have in our lives.
Stay Informed but Do Not Overdo It
While staying informed about what is happening with the pandemic and economy, we must not get distracted. Dwelling on the negative and staying glued to the news causes stress and damages physical and mental well-being.
Try to find the most reliable and non-sensational news sources. Limit the amount of time spent on staying abreast of the most vital information.
Focus on the Present and Do Not Worry about the Future
When the future is uncertain, worrying about something we have no control over will only cause anxiety, stress, and panic. Avoid the “What if?” scenarios whenever possible. It is OK for us to admit and acknowledge that we are fearful of the unknown.
It is never helpful to avoid our true feelings. Share concerns and fears with trusted close family or friends. However, it is best to bring ourselves back into the present where we have more control and knowledge about what is happening.
Get Enough Sleep
When our sleep is interrupted, it is usually challenging to concentrate and think clearly. Impaired sleeping patterns also have adverse effects on our physical well-being.
When having trouble sleeping, try the tips below:
- Do not take daytime naps
- Follow a regular sleep schedule
- Be active during the day by taking a walk or exercising
- Turn off and put away electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed
Having a few nights of sleep issues or disturbances is natural and to be expected. However, should it persist, focus on getting back to a regular sleep cycle.
Follow the steps above, try drinking herbal tea, or take a hot bath to relax the mind and body.
Stay Connected and Maintain Relationships
Humans are, by nature social beings. We miss spending time with friends and family and feel isolated. Luckily, technology makes it easier to stay in touch virtually while we socially distance.
Remote working and digital marketing tools such as Zoom, Trello, and Microsoft Teams enable us to stay in touch with and maintain connections without putting ourselves at risk of catching the virus.
Socializing during a pandemic is still possible and extremely important to avoid feeling isolated and alone.
While the weather is still warm, meeting friends and family outside where we can maintain social distancing is our best option. Or meet online or group chats and one-on-one conversations.
In a world with an uncertain future, we all must reach out, stay connected, and take care of each other.
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