I’ve been having a tough time.
Sadly, it’s easy to brush off a statement like that right now because (a) I’ve had many tough times throughout this pandemic and (b) we’re all having a tough time.
But it doesn’t make it any less true nor any less potent. So, once more, with feeling: I’ve been having a tough time.
So instead of give you an update on my career exploration and search, I’m instead going to share coping techniques from the Mayo Clinic:
- Pay attention to your feelings. Name what you’ve lost due to the pandemic. It might help to write this down in a journal. Allow yourself to feel sadness or cry.
- Think about your strengths and coping skills. How can they help you move forward? Consider other tough transitions you’ve been through, such as a previous job change or divorce. What did you do that helped you recover?
- Stay connected. Don’t let social distancing prevent you from getting the support you need. Use phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media to stay in touch with family and friends who are positive and supportive. Reach out to those in similar situations. Pets also can provide emotional support.
- Create an adapted routine. This can help preserve a sense of order and purpose, despite how much things may have changed. In addition to work or online learning, include activities that might help you cope, such as exercise, worship or hobbies. Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to maintain a healthy diet.
- Limit your news diet. Spending too much time reading or listening to news about the COVID-19 pandemic can cause you to focus heavily on what you’ve lost, as well as increase anxiety.
- Remember the journey. If you’ve lost your job, you don’t have to let the way it ended define the whole experience. Consider some of your good memories and the big picture.
- Take comfort in creativity. Cooking, gardening, making art or being creative in other ways might help you feel better.