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  • Writer's pictureSkye White

Resilience in the Time of COVID-19

You’re so “over” COVID 19. You’re over hearing about it. You’re over wearing masks. You’re over social distancing. But COVID 19 isn’t over yet and we still have to maintain social distancing and other directives. How do you manage these frustrations? Here are five steps to emotionally navigate the frustrations you may be having over the continued pandemic. Many many of these steps can also be applied to any situation you don’t personally have control over.

  1. Acknowledge Frustrations

We are living in unprecedented times. It is completely normal to feel frustrated by changes in plans, daily life, and social norms. It’s also completely normal to feel frustrated or overwhelmed by news coverage. You are allowed to feel this way. Acknowledge your frustrations and allow yourself to feel them. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with news coverage, give yourself permission to limit your access to the news by only checking it once a day.

2. Manage Expectations

As we continue to navigate the pandemic as a society, manage your expectations about the reopening schedule. Things will not be returning to normal overnight. Setting yourself up with realistic expectations will keep you from unnecessary disappointment. Make the most out of the time at home by completing projects, connecting safely with loved ones, and spending time in a way that feels positive for you. Living in the present moment keeps us grounded in the here and now and allows us to focus on the time we have without fixating on the future.

3. Practice Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance is a concept from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which refers to the complete and total acceptance of yourself, your situation, and your life while letting go of any bitterness, questioning, or blaming. Radical Acceptance is about acknowledging things as they are without judgement and releasing the notion of control. This is an important tool when dealing with something we have little to no control over, such as a global pandemic. To acknowledge and accept the present situation without assigning emotions or judgement allows us to free up our emotional bandwidth for things we do have control over.

4. Use the Time in a Way that Feels Good for You

You may feel pressured to make use of your time in a certain way. You may see friends on social media baking bread from scratch or starting gardens. Don’t let others dictate how you should be spending your time. Personal growth, organizing the house, creating something, binging TV shows, social activism, connecting with your loved ones are all valid ways to spend your time. Think about what self care means to you personally and what nourishes you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Take steps to make that happen.

5. Stay Connected to Loved Ones

Humans are social creatures. Whether you identify as an introvert or an extrovert, we all need social interaction for our mental, emotional, and physical health. Do what you can to connect with loved ones by phone or video calls, socially distanced walks or picnics, or even writing letters. There are many other apps that offer group activities, such as Houseparty, which has virtual board games, and the Netflix extension app that lets you and others watch movies together while using different screens.

Although it may seem like we’ve already been living with COVID-19 for a while, we’re still navigating the pandemic and have to maintain what has become our new normal. If you’re feeling a bit fed up, you’re not alone. Utilizing the above steps will help to mitigate some of the frustrations that arise from having to navigate situations you cannot control.

Seeking counseling for ongoing support is another valid option. Many therapists are offering therapy via video calls during the pandemic. Telehealth is a safe, effective way to access ongoing mental health support and is covered by most insurance companies. Feel free to reach out to us to schedule an appointment.

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