Coping during difficult times such as the current COVID-19 pandemic can cause people to feel higher emotional stress than usual. Whether people feel lonely, nervous, sad or angry, they can use coping mechanisms to feel better, including exercise, writing, keeping in touch with friends, listening to podcasts, finding ways to relax, and taking up a hobby.
The important thing is to do something, not just fret about the past or worry about the future. During difficult times, life seems to keep throwing curveballs. By acknowledging the fact you feel stressed, you can open the door to finding ways to feel better.
No One Answer For Everyone
There is no “one size fits all” method for coping during difficult times. Everyone reacts in their own way to stress. One universal fact is that people should give themselves a break from what is causing them stress. In the case of COVID-19, that could mean simply turning off the news for a while.
As for actions you can take, there are many coping mechanisms. Hopefully one of the following will give you an idea of things you can do to better cope during difficult times.
Simply going for a walk in nature can help you better manage stress. It lets you escape your situation and feel the restorative powers of nature. Any type of exercise is good for you. Moving your body releases endorphins that make you feel better and can uplift your mood. Afterward, you will feel more relaxed. Other types of exercise include jogging and yoga. All the options will work better if done daily.
Writing Down Your Feelings
Much in the way talking about your feelings can help you feel better, so can writing them down. In a way, writing in a journal is like having a talk with yourself. It can help you focus on the positive or find a way to combat negative feelings, or at least work through them.
Keep In Touch With Friends
Laughter really is one of the best medicines! And you are much more likely to laugh and have fun with friends. This coping mechanism works even during good times. But friends also provide help during difficult times. If you cannot see a friend in person, make sure to reach out through texting, email or video calls. Just seeing a friend’s face can make you feel better.
Listening to Podcasts
These days, you can find podcasts on almost any subject. Like old radio shows, they can range from nonfiction podcasts that inform you to fiction that entertains you. If you listen to the IntoNature Podcast from Hope Grows, you will learn about how engaging with nature has a positive impact on mind, body and spirit.
Finding Ways To Relax
Relaxing is not easy during difficult times. The first step is finding what truly relaxes you and then finding ways to work it into your schedule. This can include taking a long bath, reading a book, listening to music or practicing meditation. Whatever it is, find the time to do it because it helps you. Like the “paying yourself first” concept with money, you should also make sure you do something for yourself every day.
Take Up A Hobby
Whether it’s mastering complicated jigsaw puzzles or learning to play guitar, a new hobby stimulates you and helps you get creative. That’s a great coping mechanism because now you will think of something other than whatever is causing your stress. Focusing on a hobby also puts you “in the moment” and not dwelling on the past or future. When it comes to coping mechanisms for stress and coping during difficult times, each person has one that works best. Take the time to find what works best for you and apply it to your life every day. It will help you cope in difficult times, and flourish in the good ones.