The uncertainty, fear, and stress of the pandemic are hard to handle – let alone being cooped at home to do so, while worrying about loved ones, friends, and family who you may not be able to help.

Even as a therapist, it’s hard to give consoling words – we’re all having a rough time, us therapists included, and you probably already know any advice that someone might share. Keep exercising, they say. Eat healthy. Maintain a routine. You know these already!

Hopefully, a glimpse into how I’m keeping myself busy could be helpful. It already includes the above mantras and rote advice being passed around, so here are a few other things I’ve engaged myself with to keep each day moving forward.

  1. Classes at – I’ve been learning watercolors, line art, drawing basics, daily color meditation … the possibilities are endless. Honestly, I sometimes just enjoy watching it while I clean or knit because it’s novel and it’s something that’s not coronavirus related.
  2. Knitting – it’s actually been shown that knitting and crocheting can help with anxiety. Personally, I find it meditative to repeat the same stitch over and over. Bonus – I can do it while I watch TV, so I don’t feel like a sloth on the couch all day. I get to watch shows and I have something to show at the end of the day.
  3. Stop reading the news. No, seriously, stop. Okay, at least cut back. I currently check the news one time per day (and I’ve been off social media for over a year now). We already know the gist of the news, and reading difficult, sad, and depressing things over and over throughout the day can’t help us feel better. Check the news once per day for the latest guidelines and for what to expect, and leave it at that.
  4. Sit in the sun (when I can). The warmth feels really good on my face and shoulders. That in and of itself is healing and comforting.
  5. 7 minute workouts – I love the Workout Women app because the workouts are short but I can feel them. Inexplicably, I am more motivated to get up throughout the workday and do a few workouts. Perhaps it’s because I’m always working in leggings, and I don’t have the excuse of jeans to keep me in a chair.

The common thread between all these activities is they require me to be present, physically and mentally engaged in what’s right in front of me. They keep me grounded in what I can control and what I can see for certain in front of me, rather than finding myself in murky waters of uncertainty and fear. (I admit, number three might be the exception here. It doesn’t necessarily prompt me to be present, but it certainly helps me avoid those dark, murky waters.)

Have you come up with any tricks to cope with the pandemic? Let us hear them!