Tips for Coping With Changes Brought on by the Pandemic - Guest Post

  • Tips for Coping With Changes Brought on by the Pandemic

    Whether we like it, change is a fact of life that we can’t avoid. There are some changes we expect, but life also throws us some curveballs that we never see coming. Going through a pandemic is one life change most of us never predicted, and now that it’s here, we’ve experienced just how quickly our everyday lives can be upended. These unexpected changes are both big and small. They come with some surprising benefits, along with extra challenges.

    There’s a lot outside our control, but what you can control is how you respond to these changes. As Grace Allison says, in her book, ‘Do You Have a Dream Workbook 5 Keys to Realize Your Dream’, it takes “courage, confidence, and creativity” to change your life for the better.

    Recreate Routines

    Most of us thrive on routine, even if we aren’t aware of it. But since the pandemic, your routine probably looks different. Maybe you’ve lost your job or have worked from home. You may not get to church to worship or the gym to work out.

    According to Business Insider, two ways to respond to these changes successfully include (1) setting a new schedule, and (2) focusing on what you can control. How can you set a schedule that includes your usual activities, only done from home? If you’re missing your usual workout, try a workout app or video. If you’re missing your faith community, the Mayo Clinic recommends using this time to focus even more on your spiritual life, even if that’s something you have to do outside of church.

    Explore New Possibilities

     While recreating routines is a positive step, this may also be the perfect time to try something new. If your job situation has changed, why not look into fresh opportunities? Even while some companies are laying off employees, others are going strong, and many are finding the talent they need through hiring freelancers. For example, if you’re knowledgeable about desktop publishing and typesetting, including experience with Adobe InDesign, an online job board like Upwork is perfect for finding your first clients. Or perhaps you’re an animal lover and would like to start your own dog-walking business.

    Alternative possibilities can also come in the form of new hobbies. Have you heard that more people are gardening these days? Gardening is one hobby that provides more happiness than other daily activities, including ones we’re now missing (like shopping or eating at your favorite restaurant). So if you haven’t tried gardening before, or previously didn’t have enough time for it, starting a garden now is a productive way to find an alternative source of happiness.

    Manage Change With Creativity

     When we’re confronted with changes are outside our control, the only thing we can do is adapt. However, it’s perfectly okay if you’re feeling sad, frustrated, angry, and even anxious. These feelings are valid, but what you don’t want to do is let them consume you. Working with a therapist or spiritual advisor is one healthy way to process these emotions, and another way is to do something creative.

    If you enjoy writing, consider starting a gratitude journal, or try one of these tips from PsychCentral for writing to help process emotions. If you’re more drawn to visual arts, dedicate some time to an art form you enjoy, and maybe even take online lessons. No matter what you pick, spending time on a creative activity is productive, which is a great way to get a sense of accomplishment during a time when many of us miss that feeling.

    We’re all missing our normal lives right now. But what if your old normal isn’t the life meant for you? Maybe this new normal holds opportunities you never would have sought. It’s okay to miss your old routines, but don’t stay so focused on the old that you let these new opportunities pass you by!

    Photo credit: Pixabay

    Thank you!

    Jennifer Scott

    Spiritfinder.org | jennifer@spiritfinder.org

Grace Allison
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