Staying Positive in a Pandemic
by Gayle Cottrill
Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and when trying to cope with the myriad of emotions that arise during a disaster like a pandemic, it is vital to pay attention to all aspects of our mind and body.
The global pandemic brought on by the novel coronavirus has forced many of us to face isolation, loss of work, financial hardship, sickness, or even the loss of a loved one, which can lead to loneliness, fear, grief, and helplessness. It can be hard to keep up our energy and positivity when there is so much negativity suddenly invading our lives.
Luckily, there are things you can do for your mental health that can help you find focus and happiness even during a global crisis. Everyone reacts to stress differently and ways to cope vary as well. Hopefully, one of the following things can help you find some positivity during the pandemic and continue to help even when the stressors begin to lessen.
Do Something You Love
One of the simplest ways to find some happiness is to allow yourself to do something you love. This could be gardening, puzzles, running, painting, writing, cooking, wood carving, and more. Granting yourself time to do something you love and becoming engrossed in it can help take your mind away from the things that are bothering you. It is rewarding to do something you enjoy, and in the end, there is often an accomplishment you can be proud of, which can boost self-esteem.
Set Aside “Worry Time”
We all worry, and often thoughts about the things that worry us come at all times to interrupt us while we work, cook, read, play with our kids, drive, or when we just want to relax. Some researchers have begun to suggest it is beneficial to regularly set aside time to worry and address what concerns us. If you dedicate time each day to worry, you are giving yourself permission to think deeply about and process the things you need to and your mind will eventually learn to keep the worrisome thoughts at bay until your designated worry time.
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps us stay grounded and keeps our minds clear, alert, and focused. It is also known to help reduce anxiety. There are six different types of meditation, so it might take some research to find the best method to fit your needs. There are also plenty of guided meditation videos and audio tracks online or meditation apps to assist you.
Find Help When Needed
Sometimes talking with friends who are dealing with the same struggles you are can help you deal with difficult emotions. However, if you feel like you need professional help, contact your health provider so they can advise you properly about what mental health services are available to you. If you do not have a healthcare provider, there are free resources online and organizations committed to promoting mental health for everyone.