The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been an unusually remarkable and trying time for people who have had their lives and emotions challenged in often unanticipated ways. As we begin to consider the relaxing of the Shelter in Place orders and think about engaging again in work, personal, and social related activities we, and the people close to us, can once again experience strong emotions such as fear, anxiety or even relief. We offer the following thoughts as you begin the next phase:
Be planful. Set your own boundaries. You have the power to choose when, where and with whom you interact as the next phase begins.
Continue to practice safety by wearing your mask and proper self-care. It will get easier to tolerate wearing your mask the more we do so.
Make a list of things that bring you joy and help you relax and continue take time to do these things each day.
If you are experiencing anxiety from fear due to the stress and uncertainty, remind yourself that you have gotten through these feelings before and focus on what you have naturally done to cope previously. Take a minute, breathe, and think about the healthy, positive things you’ve done in the past to work through these feelings.
Continue to reach out to your support network or fellow colleagues. Speak with the people you are closest to about plans to remain safe during the upcoming days and weeks.
Know that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations in their own unique way. There is no right way to cope, only your own way.
How you respond as we all continue to work from home can depend on your own unique circumstances, background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
Talk, Talk, Talk. Continue to communicate with the people closest to you, your co-workers, and your supervisor.
Give to Get. We can manage our fears and anxiety by giving the things we feel we need most from others. In offering others our time, compassion, support and ear we all ultimately feel less alone and isolated.
Give kindness and patience. Fear and anxiety can often get expressed through anger. By preparing to be kind and patient with others, we can have greater control over our responses.