Compiling the ideas of our experts, researchers from around the world, and other networks of organizations comprised of current best practices in the realm of emotional and spiritual care, we offer a list of helpful ways to respond to what we will call, for lack of a better phrase, “coronavirus fatigue.”
Here are some creative and practical ideas for all of us.
Ways to help keep yourself on track.
Options to share with others who are open to staying healthy or becoming healthier.
Ways to help bring you up out of that “funk.”
Ways to help you stay well to provide assistance to others.
FACTS. FACTS. FACTS. It’s essential to stay informed about the new policies being implemented and any updated guidelines you should follow. But keep your focus on the facts without adding the “what ifs.”
Be careful what you believe and what you share.
Do your best to verify information before believing it or passing it on. Snopes’ Coronavirus Collection is one place to start. Medical schools, universities, research centers, and government resources are usually excellent and timely sources of vetted and verified information.
We all need to do our part to avoid spreading
false rumors and creating unnecessary panic.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
Stay Social. Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family. If you tend to withdraw when depressed or anxious, think about scheduling regular phone, chat, or Skype dates to counteract that tendency.
During this time of physical distancing, substitute video-chatting if you’re able. Face-to-face contact is like a “vitamin” for your mental health.
Write a letter to another and mail it!
Social media is a powerful tool. It reminds us we are not alone. That said, be mindful of how social media is making you feel. Don’t hesitate to mute keywords or people who are making you feel like you just want to smack them! And log off if it’s making you feel worse.
Do not let coronavirus dominate every conversation. It’s important to take breaks from stressful thoughts about the pandemic to simply enjoy each other’s company—to laugh, share stories, and focus on other things going on in our lives.
Do not judge your anxieties. Go easy on yourself.
Do not judge others for their anxieties or reactions. People are going to miss out on sports tournaments; graduations; weddings and funerals; along with countless other celebrations over the next few months. It’s important for all of us to keep the bigger picture in perspective, but we still need to give ourselves (and those around us) permission to feel the way we do.
Practice far-reaching acceptance. Right now, the only constant is change. Letting go of the things you cannot control will help you focus on the things you can.
Maintain a routine as best you can. Even if you are stuck at home, try to stick to your regular sleep, shower, school, meal, or work schedule. This can help you maintain a sense of normalcy.
Take time out for activities you enjoy. Read a good book, watch a comedy, play a fun board or video game, journal, play some music or an instrument, make something—whether it’s a new recipe, a craft, or a piece of art.
Get out in nature, if possible. Sunshine and fresh air will do you good. Even a walk around your neighborhood can make you feel better.
Find some way to exercise to burn off stress impacts. Staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood. Take a walk in your house, your yard, or your neighborhood.
Avoid self-medicating. Be careful that you’re not using alcohol or other substances to deal with anxiety or depression.
Donate to food banks. You can help older adults, low-income families, and others in need by donating food or cash.
Be a calming influence. Being a positive, uplifting influence in these anxious times can help others and you feel better about our situation.
Be kind to others. All others. Infectious disease is not connected to any economic, geographic, or ethnic group – speak up if you hear negative stereotypes that only promote prejudice.
Reach out to others in need. If you know people in your community who are isolated—particularly the elderly or disabled—you can still offer support.
Perhaps an older neighbor needs help with groceries or fulfilling a prescription. You can always leave packages on their doorstep to avoid direct contact.
Maybe they just need to hear a friendly, reassuring voice over the phone.
Do some relaxing. When stressors throw your nervous system out of balance, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, prayer, meditation, and yoga can bring you back into a state of equilibrium.
Have fun! It’s a serious situation, but taking time to do the things that make you smile and laugh can make daily life more enjoyable. Find the small joys in the situation, like getting to spend more time with loved ones, cooking or watching funny movies.
Be grateful. Spend some time thinking about the things that make you feel grateful. Then express your gratitude to others. Tell your friends and family how much you appreciate them.
Take control of the things you can control. Focus on the aspects of your daily routine that you can still follow — or create a new routine that suits your current situation. This can help you stay on track throughout the day, as well as allow you to continue progressing toward your bigger life goals.
Seek help when needed. If distress affects activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a counselor or clergy member.
Additional Helpful Resources
Please check out some of the excellent and creative resources that people just like you have gathered to share.
ATSS Info One-Pager – This is intended to be printed on both sides of one sheet of paper and folded vertically into thirds for a small, handy, practical picture of stress responses and helps. Feel free to share it, make copies, etc.
Other handouts are available on some of the sites below under ONLINE RESOURCE COLLECTIONS
Online Resource Collections
PAR Partners International Resource Page
Apps for Your Smartphone
Anxiety & Depression Association of America
“Cora and the Corona: One Little Girl’s Journey to Healing in Quarantine” is a resource for children during this world pandemic.
You can download the colouring book version for FREE at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/gempRsH.
Please keep us posted with what may be helpful or what else you would like to see for your needs or the needs of others.
Thank you for doing your part!