There are many small things one can incorporate in their life in order to motivate themselves and cope with all these changes that COVID-19 has brought about. These include engaging in creative tasks, managing our time well and scheduling our day, taking breaks, going for a walk, meditate, and more. However, we have heard these ideas being repeated quite a lot and there are 3 broad points that supersede all these small things that we try and force ourselves to do.
What can we do to help ourselves adjust better?
- This is not our first time!
Let’s remember that we have faced many transitions in our lives. Be it moving home, changing schools, including new members in the family, letting go and accepting new people in our lives, we have all experienced some form of minor or major transition which has equipped us with the skills necessary to cope with other transitions we might face in the future. Moreover, this is not the first adjustment we had to make with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic either. So, this time we know what to expect, and although that does not make the experience any less difficult, it makes it more bearable.
- Education is key!
We have heard of this phrase countless times, but education is very important. By education, not only formal education is implied, but also what we follow on social media and what we choose to believe, which in turn leads to what we tell ourselves day in and day out. Try to look for credible sources of information regarding COVID-19 (and anything, really) and avoid bombarding yourself with unnecessary information as it only increases the sense of panic and helplessness. Just tune in to new updates you need to know and move on with your day.
- Understand yourself
The basic nature of these unprecedented times is characterised by anxiety and uncertainty. So, avoid causing unnecessary anxiety to yourself, if possible. It is futile to just follow the news and what other people are doing and forget to listen to ourselves and what we feel comfortable with. Look for alternative solutions such as ordering supermarket deliveries rather than going to the shop itself, or make more use of video calls if you are feeling anxious meeting people in public.
More importantly, let’s be patient with ourselves and with other people and practice empathy. We need it now more than ever.
Luanne Grima is a psychology graduate who works as a childminder and volunteer with Willingness. She also forms part of Betapsi.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Adjust. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July 31, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adjust