There is no argument that the pandemic has changed our lives drastically. We have seen a shift in the way we learn, work, travel and socialize. Leaves us wondering how COVID19 will affect the outcome of voting in this years election. Has your view of our political candidates shifted with how the pandemic was handled? 2020 has seen monumental chaos triggered by the untimely deaths of African American men and women at the hands of police brutality, a national pandemic that took the lives of millions as we were forced to shelter in place and relive these tragedies via the news and social media outlets. To add insult to injury, our nations leaders failed miserably. As we brace ourselves to hear the outcome of this election, if 2020 has a bright side, it would be the hope that this November election brings a shift in our political climate.
However, as we plug along, we as a nation have struggled with the loss of routine. The numbers of those affected with COVID19 are increasing in RI as of late according to RIDOH. The Mayo Clinic offers some help on coping with the psychological impact on our sense of loss, security and freedom. To cope with those overwhelming feelings here are some suggestions:
- Pay attention to your feelings. Name what you’ve lost due to the pandemic. It might help to write this down in a journal. Allow yourself to feel sadness or cry.
- Think about your strengths and coping skills. How can they help you move forward? Consider other tough transitions you’ve been through, such as a previous job change or divorce. What did you do that helped you recover?
- Stay connected. Don’t let social distancing prevent you from getting the support you need. Use phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media to stay in touch with family and friends who are positive and supportive. Reach out to those in similar situations. Pets also can provide emotional support.
- Create an adapted routine. This can help preserve a sense of order and purpose, despite how much things may have changed. In addition to work or online learning, include activities that might help you cope, such as exercise, worship or hobbies. Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to maintain a healthy diet.
- Limit your news diet. Spending too much time reading or listening to news about the COVID-19 pandemic can cause you to focus heavily on what you’ve lost, as well as increase anxiety.
- Remember the journey. If you’ve lost your job, you don’t have to let the way it ended define the whole experience. Consider some of your good memories and the big picture.
- Take comfort in creativity. Cooking, gardening, making art or being creative in other ways might help you feel better.