Coping with Coronavirus
There’s no way around it: the world is really scary right now. A year and a half into a global pandemic, people are tired, lonely, and grieving. People all across the world are pinching pennies to make rent and support their families. Parents are forced to put their work (and potentially income) on hold to take care of their children during distance learning or find a way to provide 24/7 childcare while keeping up at a job. And, after over a year of isolation, reentering the social world may feel daunting and overwhelming. Though we know more about this illness than we did a year ago. It’s still scary. And isolating. And overwhelming. And, as the world begins to slowly reopen, we’re met with new trauma. Yet, through it all, we have the tools at our fingertips to support each other.
Coping with Isolation and Reopening
As weeks of isolation turned into months, and months turned into a full year, we’re now living in a world that looks far different than most of us could have ever imagined. We’re finding new ways to connect, living through collective grief, and hanging on to brighter days around the corner.
Any change is hard. This kind of rapid and prolonged change is especially hard. Moreover, reopening has brought new trauma and anxiety. Things that once felt so normal (like taking public transportation, going to school, or running into a store) may now bring about fear, trepidation, and nervousness as we resume daily life.
Here are some ways to prioritize your mental health if you’re feeling anxious and lonely:
- Reach out for help. Our Crisis Counselors are available to help you move from a moment of panic to calm and centered—totally free, 24/7. Your feelings are valid. You deserve kindness. We’re here to help. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- Get some fresh air. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t safely get some fresh air. Go for a walk! Take a hike! Do some outdoor yoga! The natural world is your oyster. Dive in.
- Prioritize mental check-ins. Now is the time to pick up meditation, start journaling, or tap into some mindfulness techniques. We love this grounding technique.
- Connect. Skip the scrolling and make your time online intentional. If you’re used to working in an office and are now working from home full-time, chances are you’re missing one of the best parts of work—friends. Instead of diving right into virtual meetings, spend some time catching up and checking in on each other. Schedule virtual hangouts with friends. Take your usual lunchtime and get on a group FaceTime.
- Turn off notifications. When you’re stuck at home all day in times like these, it can be easy to get sucked into an endless hole of news updates. Schedule a few dedicated times throughout the day to check in with the news and get the most important updates. No need for the minute-by-minute play-by-play of COVID-19 happenings to make you spiral.
Even if going to in-person school every day can be the worst, you might find that having gone this long without it is also… not great. Distance learning—or even in person learning with COVID precautions—has likely completely transformed the way you see friends, honor traditions like prom or graduation, and participate in school. There’s no sugar coating it—it all sucks. Here are a few tips to cope with school right now.
- Stay on track. The best you can keep up with your learning. Not only is focusing on school a great break from focusing on what’s going on in the world, it’s also a way to progress in your life while everything else seems like it’s on pause.
- Stick to a schedule. Get up. Get dressed. Take a shower. Feed yourself. Sounds basic, but it will make a world of difference.
- Make sure you have what you need. A lot of students rely on school for many of their meals. If you normally participate in a free or reduced lunch program, make sure to check in with your school administrators to make sure you can still get food during this time.
- Put the social in social media. Forget posting for likes or making the best content. Use social media to connect with the people you miss seeing every day.
- Set boundaries. As school reopens, you may experience a new kind of peer pressure to participate in things that don’t feel safe to you personally with COVID. Honor your feelings, stay true to yourself, and set boundaries to safeguard your mental health in those situations.
- Text about it. We get it, all of this can feel very overwhelming. We’re here to listen. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor.
School closures have really thrown a wrench in everyone’s lives. But, parents are truly bearing the brunt of this new lifestyle. Many parents rely on schools and daycare so that they can get to work to support their families. With kids stuck at home, many parents are forced to homeschool their kids while also keeping up with work remotely. Nothing about it is easy—in fact, it’s really hard. Here are a few ways to keep your mental health in check.
- Stick to a routine. This one can be hard considering everything about your routine has been flipped on its head… Still, maintaining some sort of schedule can be helpful to create a bit of normalcy in this unexpected and anxiety-inducing situation.
- Collaborate. If you have a partner who is also working from home, try alternating shifts of who is looking after the kids. And, communicate your needs to your team! Everyone has to be a little flexible right now—even your coworker who needs to pivot so you can take care of your family.
- Flexibility. Parents need time to focus on themselves too, so scrap those electronics limits!
- Be kind. Seems simple, but for real: you deserve kindness. From yourself. From your family. From your kids. From your coworkers. You’re doing the best you can. We’re here to talk about it if you need to vent. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
For Financial Stress
In many ways, the rapid change to the economy is just as scary for a lot of folks as COVID-19 itself. Layoffs have been consistent and detrimental for a year, freelancers aren’t able to book jobs, and for most of the country that already lived paycheck to paycheck, the loss of work is detrimental. This change can drum up anxiety about how to stay safe and healthy while also supporting your family. We hear you. It’s hard. You deserve to grieve. It’s okay to be scared. We can’t make it better, but we can listen. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor or message us on Facebook.
For Frontline Workers
Frontline workers, you’re heroes. Truly. The pressure on the healthcare industry over the last year means that you’ve been working harder, faster, and smarter to save as many lives as possible. And, you’ve done it all understanding the great risk to your own health. It’s understandable to be overwhelmed by this. You matter. Your life matters. We can’t make everyone healthy, but we can support you. If you’re on the frontlines and need mental health support text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. We know you have our back. Having yours is the least we can do.
For Grieving Families
As a nation, we’ve suffered a great amount of collective loss. Over 500,000 people have died from COVID in the last year. It’s likely that you know several people who are grieving personal losses in their family. Perhaps you’re grieving too. It can be really hard to find ways to process death and dying when people can’t gather together to honor their loved ones. If you need to talk to someone to process loss in your life, it’s always brave to reach out for support. We can’t solve everything, but we can listen. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. You’re not alone in this.