5 Ways to Cope
What happens when all our normal activities stop and fear rules the day? Many of us in Hong Kong have been dealing with a new normal and it seems like now most of the world as well. What happens when our normal work schedule is disrupted? How are you when the ebbs and flows of daily life is gone? What do you do with yourself when everything is stripped away?
During this forced PAUSE, I’ve come to realize that it’s been really difficult to be creative when the world is in chaos. When the control I thought I had over my time and passion is suddenly gone, the only thing I have been in the mood for is to eat snacks and do nothing. Coming up to Week 8 of this #socialdistancing routine, I’ve started to realize that it is ok to embrace doing nothing. It is ok to struggle and stumble until you find a way in how to cope. After a couple weeks of discovering how to keep fear at bay, I finally feel like I am at the stage where I can look around and be creative again.
Here are 5 ways I’ve found to help me mentally cope with my new normal:
- Find some sunshine everyday. It could be just a quick 5 minutes of breathing on your balcony or a 30 minutes grocery run or a 75 minute hike, but going outside and feeling the sun shine on your masked face is instantly a mood lifter.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Some people thrive in this time where they become extra creative or take opportunities to do that project they always wanted to do. I felt so defeated because all I wanted to do was curl in a ball and just sleep. When I removed the “I could be… I should be… I can be…” from my thinking, I realized that it is also ok to just do nothing, to learn how to be still when stillness is forced on you.
- Be a nurturer. This could be adopting a puppy or a new plant baby that suddenly is blooming. It could be a spouse or a friend that you can show compassion and kindness to, but showing compassion and nurturing others helps you move from the imaginary realm of anxiety to the reality that is around you.
- Try something new. I discovered the wonderful world of barre fitness. It’s definitely been a highlight to learn something new, especially a new fitness exercise that I could do at home.
- Eat all the snacks. This may not be the healthiest suggestion, but eating snacks has been one way of mental coping. Just make sure you are not eating all the gummy bears in one sitting and that you are sharing them with your roommate and/or partner in times like these. 🙂
Please be gentle with yourself and allow yourself permission to walk through this step by step, taking care of your mental health as well as not isolating your love for one other.