Coping Strategies

Written by Karyn Hall

May 16, 2021

There’s been a lot of stress for everyone in the past year. During stressful times, it’s particularly important to soothe yourself and take care of your emotional health.

Gratitude
Right now, what are you grateful for?  Practicing gratitude helps us remember that there are still wonderful things in our lives, even when we are struggling with a pandemic. I am grateful that I have my pets to keep me company and good friends who check on me. I am grateful that I have many pleasures that keep me entertained while I am homebound. I’m grateful for the grocery store workers, the medical professionals, the workers in sanitation, first responders, the restaurants that are delivering and providing take out, and all the other critical workers who are keeping us going right now.

I’m grateful for the youth who are running errands for seniors. I appreciate those who are sending letters and cards to those who can’t get out or have visitors. Being alone in a difficult situation makes it so much worse, so finding ways to video chat or get letters to those who are isolated is such a contribution. 

In addition to remembering the positives in your life, you may be aware of a silver lining to this crisis. There may be some aspects, such as having a slower pace, that are pleasant. This crisis is not desirable in any way, but sometimes even the worst experiences have some positives.  You can see the silver lining that some have found here.  For me, I have a slower pace of life right now, and I’ve savoring that. I’m also enjoying more of what I have, such as time with my pets, Atlas and Plato. 

Finding ways to use your time well.
Spend time relaxing. Some of you will have more free time than you usually have, maybe not desired free time, which is stressful. Yet the time is there. How do you want to spend that time? Maybe you will spend it relaxing in some way.  Is binge watching television shows relaxing for you? 

Maybe there are skills you want to learn. Now might be the time to find tutorials!  

You might use some of this time to be creative. Create photo albums, create play lists of your favorite music, learn to cook a certain dish (bread, anyone?) or explore areas near your home that aren’t populated but you’ve never gone to before. Perhaps it’s a good time to take a day trip in your car to a new area. Maybe there are books you’d like to read. 

Stay Mindful
Staying in the present moment is really helpful. You can continue to socially distance for the present moment, and that’s what matters. Here’s a 60 second mindfulness practice that can help
You can also stop, take a deep breath, and 
         name 5 things you can see
         name 5 things you can hear
         name 5 things you can touch
         name 5 things you can taste
         name 5 things you can smell.

Live a skill-full life

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