I was fortunate enough to get to chat with psychologist Erin Potenzini to learn some helpful ways to cope with COVID, 2020, and life in general. Here are 10 tips that will hopefully help you to persevere and reframe your brain into more positive thinking:
Get Some Physical Activity Every Day
Even if you are not an avid exerciser, walking the dog, light stretching, or taking the stairs will help get your blood pumping and get your mind thinking of other things.
Do Something Thoughtful for Someone Else
Have donuts delivered to a friend you have not been able to see in a while, send a handwritten card to a family member, or pick up the phone and CALL (not text!) a friend or family member you are missing. Human connectedness is key!
Even when it is cold out, bundle up and get fresh air, and maybe even a little vitamin D from the sun (if it is out :). Fresh air can be a great reset, even if it is just for a 15 minute break. Be sure to take some nice, slow deep breaths while you are out there!
Take a Moment Each Day to Identify One Thing You’re Grateful For
This can become part of your morning routine while you are looking at yourself in the mirror and brushing your teeth, or the last thing you think about before going to bed. Being grateful helps us find balance in a time when there are easily many more things that one can get down about.
Try Something New You Have Been Putting Off For a While
Maybe something that you can teach yourself like playing the guitar, knitting, cooking a fancy dish, or scrapbooking. Ever seen a “how to” video on social media and save it for later….find it and do it!
Finding control when there are a lot of things out of our control can help bring a sense of balance. So dig into that junk drawer, go through your closet, clean out your car, or dump out your backpack and find some order.
Find a Safe Way to Get Out of the House
While quarantining or social distancing, car rides to check out a new area can be a great way to relax, satisfy curiosity, and experience a change of scenery. Is there a part of town you have never been to but always wanted to see, or a country road you have always wondered where it led? Get in the car and go for a ride.
When it Comes to Work, School, or Parenting….Be Ok With Just Doing OK.
Your best effort may look different from day to day, and that is ok. Sometimes our best is just making it through and moving on. One of my favorite things to remind myself when I am overwhelmed is, “I am only one person, I can only do so much.”
Plan for the Future!
Is there a trip you have always wanted to take? Or an activity you would like to get involved with. Spend time researching and planning something that you can do in the future that you can look forward to.
If you are struggling, and someone offers, take them up on it. You may be helping them just as much as you are helping yourself.
I hope these tips were helpful! Remember, keep being you and trying your best.