I was asked to write something to help people cope with the current worldwide pandemic and the new reality that came with it. This post was therefore first published on a Facebook group I run with a bunch of wonderful ladies called The Healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, where we discuss everything that has to do with raising dogs the as healthily as possible. In order to do so, we also need to remain healthy, don’t we? So here it is.
Being quarantined is demanding both physically and psychologically. With my background in psychology, the psychological side is the one I want to focus on right now as it’s the key to get us on the other side of this crisis as positively as possible.
Here are a few tricks that can be very useful:
⭐️ 1- Talk it out
It’s important not to keep everything inside but it’s also important to talk it out with the “right” people. After all, discussing what isn’t going well with a very negative person would have the opposite effect. You’ll see that the person you’re talking to will put things back into perspective and find the right words to alleviate some of the weight. It’s not magic, it won’t make everything disappear but it will make you feel better.
So stay connected! We are surrounded by technology… Let’s use it to do good and be there for each other.
⭐️ 2- Think about what you DO have
It’s easy to lose sight of what you do have when you have a bad day/week. When nothing goes my way, I try to take a deep breath and consciously think about all the wonderful things I’m lucky enough to have in my life, the people I have in my corner. My focus then shifts to happy things and reduce the feeling of negativity and helplessness.
⭐️ 3- Think of past experiences
We’ve all had bad days and somehow, we made it through! Think back on these days and feel how insignificant or less daunting they all seem now. Focus on that and keep telling yourself that you can get through this bad day too. Bad times don’t define you and everything is temporary. After all, I used to get so stressed out before a mathematics exam in High School! Thinking back on it, I now realize how my reasons for getting stressed have changed, evolved and somehow, I always make it through!
⭐️ 4- Learn new things & fight boredom
Now is the perfect time to start learning something new, something you’ve wanted to try for a very long time. A new language? Knitting? As long as it doesn’t require too much equipment, it’s feasible!
It’s also the perfect time to binge watch that show you’ve been hearing so much about, read that book series that has been on your “to read” list.
Spend quality time with your family whether they’re with you or not. Online games, puzzles, story sharing… Now is the time to create memories that will overlast the stress you’re currently feeling.
⭐️ 5- Write about it
That’s one thing I need to work on more: writing personal feelings down. I was never one overly comfortable with keeping a diary, even as a child. I had one because it was expected (all my friends did) but I kept it strictly about facts: my favorite artist or the moment, my favorite actor/actress of the moment, etc. I guess I have always been a private person despite appearing as an extravert (I simply love to laugh, joke and mess about a lot). So writing down about my feelings is very new to me but as someone who has studied psychology, I know for a fact it works very well for many people.
A friend of mine suggested a few days ago that we all should start a “Coronavirus Journal” about how it started, how it’s progressing, how we’re getting through it, etc. Not only will it help you, it will also be very interesting for future generations to read.
⭐️ 6- Take care of your body
Being in isolation isn’t an excuse to load up on junk food. I know ressources can be limited right now, but aim to eat as healthily as possible.
Also make sure to exercise! There are plenty of workout, stretching and meditation videos online. Make this a priority (note to self!).
⭐️ 7- Restrict your media intake
Stay informed… But do not overdo it. You do not need the stress, especially with all the false information circulating. Find a good reliable website/channel and stick to it. Watch/read a few times a day, but no more than that in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
⭐️ 8- Finally, take a deep breath.
We’re all in this together! Take the time to enjoy the peace and quiet outside. Watch nature heal itself during this pause. Simply be… Be more like our pups: relaxed, naughty and enjoying every minute of it!
Chester certainly is…