“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Change is constant, inevitable, good, and hard. Change plays an important role in life for growth and flexibility. It contributes to a full life. But with any change comes loss and it’s not unusual to feel sadness and grief; when it’s sudden, random and unwelcome it can be significant. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been abrupt and considerable. Learning to cope with such monumental change is a challenge for everyone. While those feelings need to be processed, it’s also important to accept and embrace change. It will help you better adapt and also help you and your loved ones to move forward.
COVID-19 has caused a seismic shift in our culture and in almost every metric, altering the way we live our lives. It’s essentially shut down the world as we know it and may remain that way for the foreseeable future. Depending on where you live, you may have been ordered to “Stay at Home.” And whether that means you’re working from home, educating your kids at home, (or both), or just hunkering down, you’re feeling it. Almost everything we do: work, socialization, exercise, education, medical appointments, is now being done remotely. That’s a lot of adjustment for any individual, much less for families. Social connections are important to our health, happiness and feelings of connectivity.
To best approach this pandemic and our current “Stay at Home” orders, experts advise to maintain a daily routine similar to your normal daily routine: get up and get dressed, keep your day structured, meal times should be regular, schedule activities within your home, and keep your life as normal as possible.
Children who are living at home need their own methods of coping. Older kids are typically used to connecting with friends online, but for younger children who may miss seeing a friend or family member, you can: set up phone calls or FaceTime appointments, show them photos of their friends and loved ones, have them write and mail letters, and create a new set of normal behavior.
The CDC website offers some other advice on how to support yourself and your loved ones while coping with the stress associated with quarantine and COVID-19:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
You can visit the CDC site and read more about dealing with Coronavirus at: CDC.gov