Coping at Home and Keeping Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Change and uncertainty can be a scary time for everyone – and it can be an extremely difficult time to adapt to the change of the current pandemic we are experiencing. At the same time, it is imperative to deal with the emotions you are feeling, build resilience and ensure your health and wellbeing is your number one priority.
Set yourself 5 commitments, one for each of our tips, to help you to best cope with the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, protect your mental health and maximise your wellbeing.
When making your commitments, make them as S.M.A.R.T.O. as possible (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound)…and don’t forget to also take Ownership! Make yourself accountable for the commitments you are setting:
Commitment 1 – Stick to a Daily Routine
In order to be productive and stay motivated, it is important to stick to a daily routine and to your normal daily habits as much as you can.
For example. ‘Each morning I am going to wake up and go for a run’, ‘I am going to schedule out my breaks for the day ’ and ‘I am going to write down my to-do list and prioritise what needs to be done at the beginning of each day’.
Commitment 2 – Keep Connected Digitally
At a time when we are social distancing and isolating, it is more important than ever to still feel connected to our loved ones and colleagues.
For example, ‘I am going to have a daily video call with my teammates and colleagues’, ‘I am going to organise a virtual coffee morning with my friends every weekend’, and ‘I am going to call my neighbours regularly to check-in and make sure they are OK’.
Commitment 3 – Keep Things in Perspective – ‘Look At The Bigger Picture’
Challenge your thoughts if you are in a cycle of thinking negatively and worrying, take a step back and take a wider look at the situation. There is a mass of information out there, some of which is misleading and false, so it is important to only trust validated sources. Set yourself a commitment for how you can ensure you keep things in perspective.
For example, ‘If I find myself getting anxious and worrying, I will talk things through with my parents/friends’, ‘I am going to keep a gratitude journal to focus on what I am grateful for right now’ and ‘I will only read from trusted and validated sources such as WHO’.
Commitment 4: Focus On What Is Within Your Control
The Stress Management Society’s TOP Principle can be used to help you take control of your stressors, by dividing the challenges we can do something about from those that are outside of our control and need to let go.
Stressors and worries that we have total control of, such as what we buy, eat and read
Things that are out of our control and we cannot influence such as, a pandemic, natural disaster or the weather
Stresses and worries that are partially within our control, such as relationships, meetings and teamwork – YOU CAN ONLY DO YOUR BEST!
Using the TOP principle, set yourself a commitment for how you can focus on what is within your control and let go of what is not.
‘I cannot control the current lockdown, however, I can control how it makes me feel by limiting the amount of news I watch each day’, ‘I will limit the amount of social media I am exposed to about the coronavirus pandemic’ and ‘I can keep myself healthy during the pandemic by making sure I do my daily exercise’.
Commitment 5: Take Time Out To Prioritise Your Physical, Mental Emotional Wellbeing
It is more important than ever to ensure you are looking after yourself, especially during such a challenging and uncertain time. Focus on 3 different aspects of your wellbeing – physical, mental and emotional and make a commitment for what you are going to do for each one.
For example, ‘I am going to do a 30 minute home HIIT workout every morning before I start my day’, ‘I am going to undertake an online Spanish course to start learning a new language’ and ‘I am going to keep a thought/mood diary to record how I am feeling’.
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