3. Communication: Who are you talking to and how frequently? For many of us the first few weeks have been checking in with friends and family about how they are doing. Maybe this felt new so we wanted to vent or gather input. Now that things are shifting, some of us may encounter individuals that have heightened periods of anxiety. COVID takes up a large portion of their conversations. Maybe they have become unemployed or experienced some other losses because of this, be mindful of how the communication you are engaging in is making you feel. You may want to limit your conversations with some people. You may want to be mindful of topics you discuss with others. For some, you may want to hold space for others that need you. Whatever the ways or reasons you are communicating, be mindful of the impact that it is having on you and use your tools to manage.
4. Community: Please make sure that you are engaging in virtual community during this time. While I understand that some of us do not feel that it is “the same” and it isn’t, maintaining connections is critical for self care. Especially if you live alone, it can be difficult emotionally to go without connections to others. Some of us may not notice the shifts that occur in our mood or thought patterns with interpersonal connections. Be aware of how often you are connecting with friends and family. Do not assume that because someone is not contacting you that they do not wish to be bothered. Stay connected to self and grounded so that you can pay attention to when you want to spend time with someone else. There are so many virtual games, dance parties and experiences to be shared, even though they require additional pre planning that may not have been needed before.
5. Care: PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS! The best way to do that right now is to engage in physical distancing as much as possible. Also, consider ways that you can show others that you care. Is there a neighbor or a family member that you can share the responsibility with for food shopping to avoid going outside so much. Is there a neighborhood restaurant you trust to order food from that needs your support. Can you afford to send your monthly tips to your hairstylist, your nail technician or other individuals who you get services from. For these industries things may be tough for a while. Showing care and concern for others really helps our emotional well being and supports us in maintaining the community we care about even when outside is “open” again.
However you choose to do it, be intentional about the ways that you are coping right now and every day moving forward.