Self-Care And Human Connection During Pandemic

The pandemic can feel overwhelming because of long work hours and caring for your family and yourself. It’s important to pause for a moment and collect your thoughts. Remaining calm can help. It is normal to feel stressed during uncertain times. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include fear, sadness, anger, and anxiety. You also could feel helpless and discouraged. Physical responses may include sleeplessness, muscle tension, headache, and fatigue. Taking care of yourself is important so you are equipped to help your family through this time.

Here Are A Few Tips You Can Use To Take Care Of Yourself:

Physical Health

  • Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Take deep breaths and stretch often.
  • Spend time outside such as going for a walk in the park, but follow social distancing guidelines.

Mental Health

  • Focus on things you can control.
  • Set and maintain a routine at home.
  • Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones.
  • Listen to music or read books.
  • Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today.
  • Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from the news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community.

Connection with people is an essential aspect of our human society. We seek out and lean on human interaction when we are experiencing the stress of life’s challenges. We are faced with a community challenge in the form of a pandemic. This new threat challenges us to be creative in how we maintain our social connections and manage our mental and physical health. 

Social Distancing Strategy Asks Us To

  • Close schools and provide education online
  • Avoid large crowds
  • Work from home whenever possible
  • Cancel large meetings and conferences
  • Stay home
  • Give up our weekly social meetings at coffee shops, restaurants, and church groups 

Over time, everyone needs a varying amount of real social contact to maintain mental and physical health. As we adjust to social distancing strategies, we may need to be more creative to meet our need for social connection. It is important to understand that social distancing does not mean withdrawing from society. It is an invitation to contribute and connect in another way to the communities we live in. 

  • Spend quality time with the people you live with, such as playing board games or completing an indoor project.
  • Use electronics to stay in contact with friends, neighbors, and loved ones. This could include using videoconference programs, making voice calls instead of sending texts, or talking with a neighbor through windows while maintaining a safe distance.
  • Write in a journal about your experiences during this time of social distancing. Not only will this help you sort out what you are thinking and feeling, but also it can be shared going forward as a way for future generations to connect with the past.
  • Make a family meal or dessert recipe that reminds you of friends or family you are unable to visit, and then call them to tell them about it. This way, you get an experience of an internal and external connection.