We are living in unprecedented times right now. The current crisis has hit hard and swiftly. Living in times of crisis causes stress, overwhelm, fear, and loneliness. We all need to know how to cope during a crisis. We need to understand how to care for ourselves and our loved ones when living through a crisis.
It is easy to forget proper coping skills and become worried, anxious, stressed, impatient, and angry. But these thoughts and behaviors do us no good as it is unsustainable to stay in ‘fear and flight mode’ all the time. We oftentimes do not know how long a crisis will last. So, our best bet is do what we can so that we can sustain.
To support you, my readers, I wanted to leave some tips to remind us to stay positive and hopeful, and to help us get through this crisis.
How to cope during a crisis
- Remember that a crisis does not last forever. That’s why it’s a crisis, it’s a disruption or upheaval to normal events.
- Maintain self-care practices. Even though you may not feel like practicing routines and habits, it is essential for your emotional and mental states to maintain self-care routines.
- Self-care and caring for others may look different. This is entirely okay. Since a crisis is a disruption to normalcy, there will be a shift in how you care for yourself and for others. Many of us are currently working from home and homeschooling. Many of us are essential workers and are facing unbelievable amounts of performance pressure. We must do what we need to give ourselves space to renew and refresh.
- Try to find ways to engage in personal connections. In times of crises, technology has new meanings. For instance, having a movie night on FaceTime with dispersed family members, and I’ve also seen people putting on mini concerts on social media. Try to find the options that suit your needs.
- Sometimes, rest is the best medicine. It is okay to slow down and rest. Our mental and emotional states are being taxed heavily right now, and for some, their physical states. We may feel more tired and exhausted at the end of the day and/or week. It is okay to just rest and be.
- Let’s face it, a lot of things are falling by the wayside. We may not be cooking as much or are making quicker meals; house chores may not be done as much as the kids are home all day now. Things are messier. This is okay too! Again, allow yourself to just be.
- Manage your mindset. Do not allow yourself to focus on all the things that are wrong. Take time to focus on the positives. For some, they have more time on their hand now, what’s one thing you’ve wanted to do that you can start? Maybe that’s reading a book you’ve put on hold, writing a book, starting a blog, starting a service-based or online business, or catching up with friends virtually? For others who may be home with lots of family members, how can you bond with each other? What can you do to spend time with your loved ones? Remember that thousands of people are and having been losing their loved ones right now.
- Examine your finances. Crises have a way of bringing what really matters to the surface. During times of crises, we should be monitoring our finances even more closely, avoiding emotional and unnecessary spending. This is also a good time to identify ways that you can make changes to build your income and emergency fund after the crisis has passed.
- Spend some time reflecting on the lessons you’ve learnt during the crisis. What did you learn about yourself, your coping skills, your resiliency? What are some areas that you need to work on after the crisis?
- Do think about ways that you may make changes to your personal, professional, and family lives after the crisis has passed.
- What will your life look like after the crisis? Are there things that need to change in your life? What things do you need to remove? What things do you need to do more of?
- Remember, that things will go back to ‘normal’ after the crisis. But understand that ‘normal’ may look different going forward. Explore what that means for you and your family.
- And lastly, it’s okay to grieve and to take time to adjust. It’s completely normal to grieve what was, what was normal, and what used to be. And it’s also okay to take time to adjust to whatever the ‘new normal’ will be.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all. Please reach out to me on my social pages if you have any questions or just want to share your experiences. We’ll get through this experience together.
If you want to go a step further, check out the mental health checklist and the Getting Closer to Checklist below.