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Coping With the Ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic

Zoe Mittman, LSW 

It feels like March 2020 all over again. Quarantine. Toilet paper aisles empty at grocery and convenience stores. Difficulty finding Covid tests, canceled vacations and family get-togethers, and remote learning. I for sure did not expect us to be dealing with Covid in 2022, however, it is something that is essentially out of our control. In this blog, I am going to talk about how you can be empowered to capitalize on what is in your control.

Uncertainty is one of the most prominent driving factors of anxiety. When you are able to focus on what you are in control of, rather than ruminate on what could have been and might happen, the shift you will experience is eye-opening. This can also help with your ability to tolerate uncertainty. I encourage you to pause for a moment and write a list of things in your life that you are in control of and not in control of.

man making pour over coffee in his home kitchenWe all have emotions. Some examples are frustrated, excited, mad, happy. The list goes on. It is okay to experience a broad range of emotions. However, you are in control of how you respond to these emotions. The reactions that you have are valid and understandable. You might be feeling frustrated that it feels like 2020 all over again. How do you know that you’re feeling frustrated? What are the physiological symptoms? By recognizing how your emotions manifest, you are giving power to the more logical, thinking parts of your brain. While keeping that in mind, it is also important to take preventive steps in order to improve your overall well-being. 

It is easy to slip into a rut when you cannot control things that you so much desire to be in control of. We have been dealing with the Covid pandemic for nearly two years now. With that being said, it is so important to take care of yourself and do what is best for you during these times. I am going to discuss some strategies that you could incorporate into your toolbox of skills.

If you are now working from home, a morning routine is key to getting your day started. What can you do in the morning before your workday? It is essentially like your commute, but activities that you find enjoyable. Some things that come to my mind are:

  1. A phone-free morning: if you are on your computer all day long, I encourage you to try a screen-free morning and see how that goes. We sometimes don’t even realize how much of our day is spent on the screen between our phones, computer, and television.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast: food is fuel and may improve your ability to focus!
  3. Enjoy your morning coffee or tea: personally, this is something that I look forward to every morning. 
  4. If it’s not too cold, go for a walk outside: 5,10,15 minutes, or even an hour. Fresh air does wonders in terms of clearing your mind and allowing you to be in the right headspace for the day
  5. Call a friend, family member or a loved one: this helps to maintain connections with important people in our lives, when we may not be able to see them in person

Ultimately, whether it is implementing small habits in the morning or becoming more aware of how emotions manifest in your body, focusing on what you are in control of is liberating.

Lastly, I just want to note that the aforementioned strategies do not replace therapy. If you or a loved one might benefit from the support of a licensed mental health professional, please feel free to check out our website.

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