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A Psychologist Shares Some COVID-19 Coping Strategies

If we had a dollar for every time someone said 'unprecedented times' in the last 6 weeks, we would be well on our way to retirement! It's no question that every single one of us has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from quarantine and self-isolation, to a socially distant future, it's a lot to handle even for the most resilient. We have lost access to things that played a big role in helping us cope with the normalities of life such as gyms, catch-ups with friends, and even good old fashioned retail therapy. So we spoke to one of our lovely customers, Dina Ward who happens to be a Psychologist, and she gave us a few strategies to implement to help us all cope with the new normal!

1. Identify what you can control

We can't control our circumstances, but we can control how we react to them! One very helpful strategy is to lock in a designated 'worry time'. Create a worry book that you write in every day. List all of your worries and anxieties on paper, and then put a line through every single one that you don't have any control over. Sometimes, we overthink and overwork things in our heads, and it's not until we see them written in front of us, that we realise how trivial they are. On the other hand, if there is something you can do about a particular worry, write down what your next action step is and how you're going to go about it, and then promise yourself that you will not stress or worry about these things anymore until the following day when it's time to revisit the worry book again!

2. Create a routine

No matter how empty your day may seem, you can still create a schedule to follow. A schedule is a great example of something that you have control over. It can be as simple as 7 am shower, 7:30 am Walk, 8:30 am Breakfast, 9 am Work begins..etc. This will help you feel like you have achieved something, come to the end of your day!

3. Seek out humour

It honestly is the best medicine, it can come in the form of memes, your favourite sitcom, or a friend. There is still fun to be had! Learn a dance, don't take yourself too seriously, have a karaoke session. The options are endless once you decide that you're up for having a laugh. You'll be surprised how much a bit of laughter in your day will change your perspective.

4. Make an effort to connect

We might not be able to go and see our friends in person, but we are lucky to live in the tech-era where keeping in touch is easier than ever. Make the effort to call, text, organise FaceTime catch-ups, and Zoom calls. We can still connect and bond with those close to us, and remember that it's only a matter of time before you get to see them again! 

5. Limit news sources

Unfortunately, we need the news to keep up with the latest developments, but that doesn't mean that we need news sources on every platform. Stick to 1 or 2 trusted sources ( The ABC) is a good start, and only check in maximum twice a day. That way, you avoid exhausting yourself with fear over misinformation but you still stay on top of any updates that you need to be aware of.

6. Don't pressure yourself to come out better on the other side

Please remember that you are in fact living through a pandemic! Don't feel the need to come out of this with a new language, skill, or weight loss. That is not what this time is about, and such pressures only add to the weight on your shoulders. At the moment the best thing you can do is simply survive, whatever that means for you. Some days it may be exercising, other days baking, and some days even not getting out of bed at all. This is all normal, you're not superhuman and you're allowed to feel exhausted by the sheer weight of the situation itself!

If you have any strategies that have helped you through this time, we would love to hear them! Drop us a comment below!







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