Hey, thanks for stopping by! I’m writing this unofficial coping post to offer a little bit of personal, non-expert advice for dealing with the current situation.
I wish I was an expert. I wish I could offer advice and answers to everyone in need, but none of us can do that. Not even the real experts. However, I have lived through severe depression, crippling anxiety and even PTSD (thank god those days are far behind me!).
People are losing their jobs, income, safety and worst of all, loved ones. It’s a very scary time and none of us really know what the future holds for us, or our countries.
Will I have a job next week?
Will I have an income for the foreseeable future?
Will I be able to pay my rent?
What happens if I catch COVID19?
All tough, but valid questions that most of us are probably fretting over.
I know I AM!
As of today, cinemas are shut, schools have been told to close from Friday and the food industry is rapidly closing cafes or leaving them open for takeaways only.
Many people will be forced to work whilst their children are not at school, many children will be without hot meals or be spending their days alone. Exams are being called off, Universities are closing their doors for the remainder of the academic year and people are frantically trying to fly across the world to get home.
COVID19 has sent us all into a serious state of panic, disarray and depression as it takes over the world. So, how the hell do we cope?
The only way I can help is to share what little resources I have with family and friends, and hope that this blog post makes you feel a little less alone.
- Keep in touch
Make sure you call someone now and again. Facetime, Skype or on the phone. Social media is great, but when so many of us are working from home or self-isolating our face-to-face contact will be minimal. It’s important to be able to hear the voices of others and see them if you can.
Talk about how you’re feeling, especially if you’re finding it really difficult at the moment, but also try and find something positive in each day.
If you’re working from home, set up a Facebook or Whatsapp group with your colleagues – a virtual staffroom if you like.
Many of us will be out of work, without an income, but we can still find something positive even if it is as simple as reading a book for the first time this year, or painting the front room, or spending more time with the dog – there is always a little light!
- Eat well and exercise
Such difficult thing to do sometimes, especially if you’re stuck at home and just want to eat cookies and chocolate. However, now is the most important time to prioritise your health. Many of us are stressed out, run down and will be tempted to resort to pizzas and ‘comfort foods’.
Make healthy food your comfort food, and allow yourself snacks and treats now and again, rather than the other way around. Especially if you’re working from home, you should have a little extra time to prepare some yummy meals.
Here are a few simple but delicious meals:
Cheesy pasta bake (can easily be vegan and / or gluten free)
Stir fry with tofu, chicken, beef strips etc (add ginger and garlic if possible!)
Falafel (or meat) burgers with sweet potato fries and salad
Pasta and veg with a jar or homemade sauce
Homemade pizzas – tastier and healthier. (can easily be vegan and / or gluten free)
Plus some more from BBC here
Exercise can be easy at home. You don’t need a full gym or loads of weights. You can do squats, push ups, crunches, lunges etc on your own whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or if something’s in the microwave.
If a good song is on the radio, get up and have a little dance or do some star jumps.
It really doesn’t need to be a full body work out, but just enough to keep you and your blood moving!
If you do want to add a little weight, cans of food work, or large bottles of soda. Lift a few books at a time. Although don’t over-exert yourself. If you know you have knee / shoulder problems there are certain exercises you shouldn’t do! Do your own research about what you can and can’t do. Check out some 10 minute work-outs from the NHS
My point is that a little exercise is better than nothing at all.
- Do something you love
It’s too easy to be miserable at the moment so use any extra time you have to do something you enjoy. It might be yoga, learning a new language, reading or just sleeping a little longer. For me, it’s reading and cooking proper meals!
Here’s another amazing post on things you can do at the moment.
- Tidy up!
Tidy up your bedroom and workspace so you feel more relaxed (hopefully!) and create set spaces if you’re working from home. Working from bed and / or the sofa loses it’s novelty after about a day and a half.
Clear away that pile of dishes, water the plants or reshuffle a bookcase if you think that will help, because a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind!
- Wash your hands, clean your home, door handles… (that’s an obvious one, right?)
- Update / create a financial log
Personally, I find this a difficult one because it reminds me of how little money I have – but it is so important, now more than ever where jobs are on the line, and income will be reduced, or completely withdrawn, for many of us.
Know how much you have in your accounts, including savings, speak to your partners, parents and family members about the situation. Will anyone be able to help you if you can’t pay a bill? Or worse, your rent.
Speak to your bank if you’re concerned about missing payments as some are offering loans or mortgage ‘holidays’, and also contact your landlord, gas company, etc if you think you might have difficulty paying.
Remember you will not be alone in this awful situation. Many of us are already struggling, and it won’t get better straight away.
- Be kind
Many of us are scared, worried and already facing mental health issues. This horrible situation will only heighten those negative feelings. So if we call try and be kinder, more patient, more understanding and sympathetic it may just help us pull through.
Connect with your colleagues, ask how they’re doing if you’re working from home.
Check in on your neighbours, if you can.
Call your parents a little more often (I can’t, I call them 10x a day anyway, but I know many people don’t call their families often. Now’s a good time to start!)
Don’t take 232983023 packets of pasta or 10 packs of toilet roll.
Ask an elderly person if they need anything as you’re in the shop. They be feeling overwhelmed, confused or just miserable at the situation, especially if they can’t find what they need.
We are all in this together and our families, friends and communities are what will get us through.
Wishing you all good health and positive mindsets during this tough time.
Feel free to reach out if you would like someone to talk to! x