It’s been almost a year since life as we knew it, changed drastically. To flatten the curve of COVID-19, we have all made significant life-style changes. Party lovers have had to skip even simple gatherings with friends. Worship doesn’t feel the same without the chance to fellowship. Fashionistas now have to “ruin” their perfect outfits with a face mask! Not to mention having to wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently or else deal with the bugging feeling that they are contaminated.
Undeniably, it can wear a person out, having to live like this. According to Dr Itai Danovitch, chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, it’s similar to other lifestyle changes people try to make, like eating healthier and working out to lose weight. Most people can follow the new rules for a short period of time, but sustaining the new behaviors can be tough.
“We get tired and we resort to our usual behaviors, and when the requirements are coming from sources outside themselves, it adds a whole other layer of complexity,” Danovitch said. How then do we cope and still manage to enjoy life regardless?
A few tips worth sharing:
Focus on the bigger picture: Life is precious…yours and those of others. It is worth preserving at almost any cost. If the price we have to pay to stay alive is a few, albeit significant changes, we are more than willing to.
Keep hope alive: Vaccines are slowly but steadily being rolled out. Corona virus will become a thing of the past someday; sooner or later. Let this hope keep you pushing on, one day at a time.
3. Look out for yourself: Strike a fine balance between moderate physical activity and adequate rest. Eat healthy meals. While feeding your body, don’t forget your mind too. Be careful what you expose yourself to mentally. Stay informed but don’t binge on negative stories. They have a way of staying in our subconscious long after viewing or reading them. Take a break. Read a good book. There is life waiting for you beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Stay emotionally connected despite distance: The tendency will be there to shut yourself in. But you really want to resist it. Thanks to technology, you can keep the communication lines open even while miles apart. Talk, talk, talk. Initiate video calls. Be emotionally expressive if you need to. Share laughs, smiles, virtual hugs and kisses…even tears. Those moments stay with us and keep us strong enough to combat feelings of discouragement.
5. Spice things up!: Yes, all that time spent indoors can be used for that long overdue de-cluttering or re-arrangement. Convert your boredom into creativity. Tired of the masks? Maybe a few colorful ones will do the trick. The key is, rather than simply go through the motions, endeavor to live intentionally. Happiness as the say, is an inside job. Whatever you do, ensure you stay healthy and happy!
Cheers to better, brighter days ahead!