You wake up one day to find that everything has changed. News channels report that there’s a vicious and potentially deadly virus plaguing the nation. Political leaders order lockdowns advising citizens to remain indoors to slow the spread. Students transition to distance learning, businesses close, millions lose their jobs, and everyday activities are altered.
The cycle of events that have taken place over the past year is enough to weigh on anyone’s psyche. A national pandemic, social isolation, and mass unemployment have left many people feeling chronically stressed, anxious, and depressed. While these are normal reactions to current times, remaining in this state can lead to physical and mental health problems. Though you may feel hopeless with all that’s going on, there are things you can do to ease those unwelcoming emotions.
Create A New Normal
As much as you’d like for things to go back to the way they were, it’s out of your hands. Allowing yourself to “grieve” the past will only make it more challenging to adapt to the here and now. The best way to deal with feelings of stress, sadness, hopelessness, and depression is to create a new normal. Develop a new routine that allows you to get things done without feeling overwhelmed. Find ways to incorporate activities into your day that you enjoy.
If you want to reduce negative emotions, sometimes it’s best to take the focus off yourself. As you know, you’re not the only person going through difficulties during the pandemic. There are lots of people in worse situations that could use some assistance in getting back on track. Why not do something to help someone else? Whether you call a friend who just went through a bad breakup or making face masks for a local school, it gives you something positive to focus on. Not to mention, seeing how your presence or sacrifice of time, money, and resources can make someone’s day will make you feel good about yourself.
Get A Pet
Social isolation is one of the most challenging things to deal with amid the pandemic. Not being around your friends, relatives, coworkers, or the general public can cause bouts of depression. While limiting your time with others is ideal for health and safety, there are other ways you can fill the void of loneliness. Take getting a pet, for instance. Dogs and cats are great companions. Their non-judgemental love and affection soothe the sadness you’re feeling during the lockdown. You don’t have to stress about caring for another life as there are plenty of services for pet parents. You can have everything from dog food and toys to medication and cat litter delivery shipped directly to your place keeping you and your pet safe.
Watching television and surfing the internet have become convenient pastimes amid the pandemic. They provide a source of entertainment, information, and socialization during times when we need it the most. While there are many advantages to using these mediums, they can also have a negative effect on your emotional well-being. These platforms are designed to evoke emotion, and not all content is created for your benefit. Too much exposure to this content can make you feel even worse. Allow your mind and body to take a rest from the negativity by stepping away from the screens for at least an hour a day. During this time, find other things to do that help to relax you, like painting, gardening, or listening to soothing music.
Almost a year ago, life changed forever. Trying to deal with all of these adjustments isn’t easy. Chances are you go through periods of stress, anxiety, sadness, and even depression as you try to cope. Although current events are beyond your control, you can’t allow them to have such an impact on your health and wellness. When you find yourself feeling emotionally overwhelmed, it’s essential that you do something about it. Learning to create a new normal, helping others, adopting a pet, and unplugging are effective ways to lift your spirits.