By Angela Hayes, Ph.D.
We’ve all been through an incredibly stressful 2020, and although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we still need to focus on remaining vigilant, while taking good care of ourselves and others.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as we continue to navigate a world with Covid.
- Focus on what you can control
Find aspects of your daily routines that you can continue to follow and build in new routines that make you happy. You might, for example, set aside time each day to do something that you’ve wanted to do but felt you didn’t have the time before, like learning a new language, reading a novel or cleaning out all of your closets. Do your best to let go of things that you can’t control, like other people’s reactions and behaviors, the special events that you and others have and will miss during this time and any judgement about the very real feelings that this brings up for you and others. Try to focus on a bigger picture perspective to help get through these disappointments.
- Be kind to yourself and others
Give yourself some grace in these trying times. You are not likely to be at your best, and that’s completely OK. Try to get plenty of sleep, eat well and practice whatever type of self-care helps you to lower your stress. Be willing to give that same level of grace and patience to others. Everyone responds differently to this level of stress and uncertainty. Give yourself and others space to deal with this crisis, and actual space to reduce the spread. There is a quote circulating in Italy that says “We’re standing far apart now so we can embrace each other later.”
- Limit news intake/avoid information overload
While it’s important to stay informed, too much information (especially if it’s from a variety of sources and the information is conflicting) can create unnecessary stress. It’s best to stick with a few reliable sources and to limit the number of times you read, listen to or watch the same information. Try adopting a schedule for checking in with these sources and try to stick to that schedule each day. Constant news consumption will do more to fuel your anxiety.
- Stay connected
While we might be physically apart, it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family. In addition to staying connected through phone calls, texts and video conferencing, you can also start a virtual book club or discussion group, play online games, call or video chat with friends while taking virtual tours together of museums, national parks and more from Goggle Arts and Culture, tune in to live-streamed concerts together, watch movies together Ways to watch movies with friends Online, or just plan to meet neighbors outside at a safe distance at the same time each day.
- Find ways to exercise
Staying active will help relieve stress and manage your mood. While the gym and group classes may be out, you can hike, cycle or walk outside. You can also look for online exercise videos. There are many types of exercise that you can do with no equipment, such as yoga and those that use your own bodyweight.
ANGELA HAYES serves as the Associate Director of Alumni and Online Career Engagement. Prior to coming to CSU, she worked as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Graduate Student Career Services at Kansas State University. She has a B.S. in psychology, an M.S. in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. in professional coaching and human development. She’s a nationally Board Certified Coach and a nationally Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
She has a passion for helping others to see their lives as full of possibilities and un-tapped potential. She views changes/transitions (both planned and unplanned) as opportunities for individuals to discover and plan out what they really want from their careers and lives.