There’s no way around it: the world is really scary right now. We’re all afraid for the health of ourselves and our loved ones. People all across the world are pinching pennies to make rent and support their families. Parents are forced to put their work (and potentially income) on hold to homeschool their children; if they are even old enough for school. If not, then they suddenly need to provide 24/7 childcare while keeping up a job.
And, everyone everywhere must stay away from social situations. It’s scary. And it’s isolating. And it’s lonely! So, here are some ways to resolve the fears.
Dealing with isolation
Even in Isolation, most of us are not alone. Our friends and loved ones are just as isolated as you are, and are probably having the same feelings. And this kind of rapid change is especially hard. And many things have been canceled..
However, a few things have not been; empathy. kindness and faith in humanity.
Reaching out for help and reaching out to help. Your loved ones and friends are feeling the same things you are. So call them on the phone! Write them. It can do amazing things for your heart, and for theirs.
Getting some fresh air. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside. Go for a walk! Take a hike! The natural world is your oyster. Dive in.
Connecting. Skip the scrolling and make your time online intentional. If you’re used to working in an office and are suddenly working from home full-time, chances are you’re missing one of the best parts of work—friends. Instead of diving right into virtual meetings, spend some time catching up and checking in on each other. Schedule virtual hangouts with your pals. Take your usual lunchtime and get on a group FaceTime. Or, if you’re still in school and studying from home, set up a virtual study session to cheer each other on as you go.
Turning off those notifications. When you’re stuck at home all day in times like these, it can be easy to get sucked into an endless hole of news updates. Schedule a few dedicated times throughout the day to check in with the news and get the most important updates. No need for the minute-by-minute play-by-play of COVID-19 happenings to make you spiral.
Even if school every day can be the worst, finding out it’s canceled for the rest of the year is an entirely different story. That means no more learning, seeing friends, or special traditions like prom or graduation. There’s no sugar coating it—that sucks. Here are a few tips to cope with the disappointment.
Staying on track. The best you can keep up with your learning. Not only is focusing on school a great break from focusing on what’s going on in the world, It’s also a way to progress in your life while everything else seems like it’s on pause.
Sticking to a schedule. Get up. Get dressed. Take a shower. Feed yourself. Sounds basic, but it will make a world of difference.
Making sure you have what you need. A lot of students rely on school for many of their meals. If you normally participate in a free or reduced lunch program, make sure to check in with your school administrators to make sure you can still get food during this time.
Putting the social in social media. Forget posting for likes or making the best content. Use social media to connect with the people you miss seeing every day.
And for parents
School closures have really thrown a wrench in everyone’s lives. Many parents rely on schools and daycare so that they can get to work to support their families. With kids stuck at home, many parents are forced to homeschool their kids while also keeping up with work remotely. Nothing about it is easy—in fact, it’s really hard shit. Here are a few ways to keep your mental health in check.
Sticking to a routine. This one can be hard considering everything about your routine has been flipped on its head… Still, maintaining some sort of schedule can be helpful to create a bit of normalcy in this unexpected and anxiety-inducing situation.
Collaborating. If you have a partner who is also working from home, try alternating shifts of who is looking after the kids. And, communicate your needs to your team! Everyone has to be a little flexible right now—even your coworker who needs to pivot so you can take care of your family.
Being flexible. Parents need time to focus on themselves too, so scrap those electronics limits!
And finally, being kind. Seems simple, but for real: you deserve kindness. From yourself. From your family. From your kids. From your coworkers.
Just remember this! ALL of us are simply doing the best we can.
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent.” His seminar “Taming Your Mind, Unleashing Your Life” is now available online at stevenrcampbell.teachable.com. For more information, call Steven Campbell at 707-480-5507.