How to cope with Pandemic Uncertainty
This week has been pretty drab. With not much to look forward to this winter, I’ve wondered whether the best thing would be to go into hibernation, have a cry and come out refreshed in the Spring.
Sadly, I am not a grizzly bear, and there are critical things to be done.
Most people I’ve spoken to this week have talked about how tired they feel. It’s hardly surprising with everything that’s going on. “It’s like we’re all starting with 30% less each morning”, was one person’s comment. I tend to agree.
What do we do to cope in a pandemic?
It’s new ground for all of us, and we’ve learned a lot over the years about what keeps us sane. A few weeks ago, I posted a graphic on eight ways to wellbeing. It points out the basics, and when implemented, they’ll keep you on track with feeling and functioning better.
The next several months will undoubtedly be challenging. We may feel like giving-up; nothing more human than that. Sometimes, kicking back and not doing much might be the best medicine.
We also need to be careful not to fall into the trap of doing it too much. We need to keep moving our feet, and you only need to take small steps.
Keep life simple; it’s the smart thing to do
In times of extreme uncertainty like these, you’ll feel the strain that much more. We need to be smart by making life more simple. Focus on one task at a time. See it through and move on to the next important decision.
When we take small steps every day, new patterns gradually emerge. For example, if you schedule just 10 minutes of down-time, away from work, children and screens, and gently breathe, you build up a habit of self-care.
It can be hard to put ourselves first. Often even more so for women as they carry the heavier burden of childcare as well as working too. We are just so busy, juggling responsibilities and suffering the mundane.
One of my mentors talks about ‘compassionate immediacy’. It’s the idea that self-care requires both kindness and urgency. While it is often useful to share your struggles with supportive friends, we also need to act on our suffering. It is up to us to be agents of our self-care.
Take care, and keep going.
The Openforwards Weekly Round-Up
My colleagues and I have come across some beautiful articles, initiatives and interviews recently. Check out the weekly round-up from Openforwards on creative ideas from around the world to help you work, love, play and feel better.
- In this podcast, Brene Brown talks to Emily & Amelia Nagoski about Burnout and how to complete the stress cycle.
- Connect – New scheme for schools to teach children how to look after their wellbeing. Free trial available.
- Five Ways to deal with Passive-Aggressive People. Article by Boston Psychologist, Ellen Hendriksen.
- How to make this winter not totally suck. Article on Vox by Sigal Samuel to help you conquer the dread of a pandemic winter.
- Eight Ways to help you stay sane this winter. Infographic from a recent post on Openforwards Blog.