Giving yourself grace to cope with change during COVID-19

Guest article by Charlotte Meier of for Cherry Carson Church.

Although change is a natural part of life, we’re not used to it happening as quickly – or as intensely – as it has due to COVID-19. Thankfully, the pandemic does appear to be near its end. However, the shifts it has brought to all of our lives have been extremely difficult for some of us to bear, and we’re not quite out of the woods yet. Here are some suggestions to help you cope with the remaining stress brought about by the pandemic.

Feeling Cooped Up

One of the most ubiquitous changes people have faced since the pandemic is being stuck at home more often. With self-isolation and social distancing being the best ways to reduce the pandemic’s spread, it’s easy to start to feel trapped in your own four walls, especially if you tend toward having a jam-packed schedule before this all started.

One great way to approach this is to take steps to make your home a more pleasant place to be. Odds are you’ve started to associate your home with that anxiety, so take steps to build new associations and release that negative energy. For example, redecorating your space can give it a whole new vibe and build some variety into your life. Even something as simple as lighting a candle can improve the atmosphere in your home and make it a more welcoming place to be. There are also plenty of uplifting sermons you can watch from the safety of your own home to help you through these lingering months of isolation.

Making Big Changes

The last two years have been a roller coaster for everyone. So much so that many people realized they wanted to pursue new careers, start a business or stop working to spend more time at home with their children. Making big changes requires a leap of faith, and it’s not always easy. But if you feel something tugging you, that’s probably a sign it’s time to reconsider your options.

For example, perhaps you’re tired of spinning your wheels in your teaching position. With more time at home, now is the perfect opportunity to give your career a boost by going back to school. Online universities are especially beneficial in that they offer flexible schedules and accredited programs. In no time, you could have your master’s in teaching, opening the door to more responsibility and increased earning potential!

You should also consider giving yourself an edge in your business by going back to school for a business degree. The benefit of online programs is that they allow you to learn at your own pace – meaning you don’t have to take time off work or be apart from your family!

If switching jobs is the better choice, take the extra time you have and put more effort into finding new employment. Start by having your resume revamped by a professional. You can also update your LinkedIn account, and even take advantage of LinkedIn Learning courses to pad your skills. Or maybe now is finally the time to start that new business you’ve been thinking about.

It also pays to be prepared for an interview at any time, in which case a bespoke suit is a worthy investment. You can exude more confidence and professionalism in a suit, and it’s something you can use for other occasions.

Last but not least, if you’re thinking of moving, you definitely want to research the market first. If you’re a parent, also research the schools in the areas you’re considering.

Health Fears

Although the pandemic has certainly lessened, many are still experiencing some anxiety and depression, including some who have never grappled with health anxiety before. There are several steps you can take to quell health anxiety.

The best thing to do is turn to your doctor to ask questions when you’re concerned. You can schedule a telehealth session if you’re worried about going in-person, and take the chance to address any concerns you have. You’re not being a bother – part of a doctor’s job is to help you feel confident in your physical health.

The next best thing you can do to prevent and reduce health anxiety is to avoid researching health problems. You’re not going to find anything reassuring by looking up COVID-19 symptoms or diving into other causes of something you’re experiencing. Indeed, you’re infinitely more likely to stumble into something that spikes your anxiety higher for no good reason.

Continuing Uncertainty

Though COVID-19 appears to be finally nearing its end, we continue to experience some uncertainty. Acceptance is, above all, the best tool you can use to cope with this. It’s also genuinely hard to do, so don’t beat yourself up if it’s a difficult journey. You may be resistant to accepting the uncertainty of the future, but try to sit in that resistance and discomfort. Remember, this will be especially hard for people with certain mental health diagnoses such as generalized anxiety or OCD – if you’re really struggling to cope, seek professional guidance.

Above all, we’d like to stress the importance of getting or maintaining mental health care throughout this time. There are a ton of therapists that offer telehealth services right now, and in-person therapy treatments such as ketamine infusions are done with the utmost care to protect recipients and providers alike. You do not have to do this alone, and turning to a professional can help you get the relief you deserve.

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