In times of uncertainty, it’s easy for anxiety levels to rise. I know I’ve felt it – the worry of walking past a stranger on a necessary grocery store trip and wondering if they could have the virus. The obsessive use of hand sanitizer after I touch anything. Walking the other direction at the park after seeing someone cough without covering their mouth. The realization of just how often I touch my face. The tension and boredom of being stuck at home with no place to go.
I’m fortunate that I can perform my job remotely, but not everyone has that luxury. I know people who are filing for unemployment because they don’t have a job to go to. I wonder how many people find themselves in this situation? And for those who must go out and work – such as my mother, who is a nurse – there is the question of how safe they actually are while they are doing their job.
During this time, it’s crucial to stay in good spirits and have a positive attitude to maintain good mental health. It’s altogether too easy to allow worry, fear, or depression to rise up and take over during such a time as this – but you don’t have to allow these things to rule you.
Here are five simple ways to stay positive during this time when our world is shaking.
1. Stay connected with friends and family.
Facetime, Skype, or reach out via text message or over social media. Stay in touch with the people you care about so that you don’t start to feel isolated during this time of social distancing.
2. Take the time to encourage someone else.
Encouragement is important, especially for those who are stuck working, out of work, or postponing a major life event (such as a wedding) because of the virus.
Check in with your friends to see how they are doing, or write them a kind message on social media. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way, and when you support other people, it will help you feel better, too.
3. Exercise your creativity.
I’ve been working on some creative craft projects as a means of staying occupied (I will be sharing one of them on this blog soon!). Creativity has always been a coping mechanism for me during mental health struggles, and it’s something that will help stimulate you during a time when you aren’t able to be social or go out anywhere. Take inventory of your art supplies, and search Pinterest for creative crafts that you can do with them. If you don’t have any supplies, perhaps you could plan to make your next grocery run at Target or Walmart so that you can pick up a few crafty items while you’re already out.
4. Remain productive, even if you’re not working.
It’s important to stay occupied and productive, which for me means doing more with my spare time than just watching TV. Go out for a walk, journal about how you’re feeling, cook a meal, bake, or turn on some YouTube exercise videos and follow along. Bring out you board games or play solitaire with actual cards rather than on the computer.
5. Draw closer to the Lord.
Remind yourself that we have a loving God who will never leave you nor forsake you – and he is especially present with you during this time of uncertainty. If you are feeling anxious, search for some encouraging verses and write them down – you could even bust out some canvases and paint or markers to turn these verses into your craft project. Intentionally surround yourself with reminders that God is good, that he is a protector, and that he works all things together for good.