Mental and Emotional Wellness: How to Manage Change
At the end of December 2019, I started thinking about goals, trips, and things to mark off my bucket list in 2020. However, little did any of us know our plans would be halted, adjusted, and or even canceled. With little to no warning, we were placed on a nationwide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I could never have imagined we would still be dealing with this pandemic a year later. I thought a few weeks at most. What happened to the alert, the siren, or even a man on the megaphone yelling? Change coming ahead. Graduations were canceled or held virtually; family trips were canceled, schools were closed, gyms were closed, and contact sports would become a distant memory. This abrupt change in society has been difficult for many to adjust or manage daily. One year later, and many continue to struggle with the adjustment. Everyone needs to understand that even though we must practice social distance. We must refrain from being socially distant. It has become more critical than ever to reach out to family and friends via phone or a virtual platform. We should, at all costs, avoid total isolation. This can serve as a playground for anxiety and depression. A few ways to avoid getting the "Pandemic Blues."
· Be able to recognize and be aware of your feelings and emotions.
· Plan routines to help adapt and manage change.
· Work in a shorter time frame with frequent breaks.
· Divide your time (personal, professional, and social).
· Moderately engage with friends, family, and loved ones.
· Journal your thoughts.
· Avoid excessively watching the news or scrolling on social media with information related to the coronavirus.
· Understand that it will take you time to adjust.
· Communicate your needs.
· Carve out time for yourself.
· Be sensible about the expectations you set for yourself (give yourself grace).
Self-care is essential to managing your mental and emotional wellness during this pandemic. Please stop pressuring yourself to thrive in the middle of a pandemic. One can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself to effectively care for others. Here are just a few ways you can show yourself some love.
· Daily Meditation/devotional
· Virtual Netflix watch party
· Sing or dance like no one is watching
· Spend more time outside
· Adult coloring
· Reach out to family and friends
· Try new recipes.
· Create a mood playlist.
· Aromatherapy (candles, diffusers).
· Unplug-limit screen time (social media, news, and technology)
· Reach out to a counselor/therapist.
Often, we feel like we are navigating through this world alone, failing to realize individuals are waiting for us to reach out. There are a few things I have learned during this pandemic. It is vital to reach out to family and friends more. I must make time for what is important (slow down). Lastly, always be flexible. Be able to adjust to changes that may occur. We just never know.