How to Deal with the Long-Term Stresses and Future Uncertainty of COVID Lockdowns
Diagnoses for depression and anxiety are skyrocketing in the time of COVID. Preliminary data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll suggests that nearly half of Americans have suffered worse than usual mental health during the pandemic. Unfortunately, such issues are far from over, especially as we deal with an uncertain future in which another surge or lockdown could occur at any point.
The sooner we acknowledge this new reality, the more effectively we can handle the mental health implications. If uncertainty has you feeling stressed, give these coping mechanisms a try:
Implement a Meditation Ritual
Meditation can anchor you in the present while helping you better deal with the uncertainty of the future. It’s a great option for breaking the spiral of negative mental chatter that may currently have you on edge. Start small, with five or ten minutes per day assisted by an app or audio guide.
Make Plans for a Post-COVID World
It’s impossible to know when we’ll be able to put away our masks and abandon social distancing. That doesn’t mean you can’t make plans for when the pandemic finally ends.
There’s no need to make concrete plans just yet, but it may help your state of mind to consider a few simple goals or activities you can pursue later on. Where do you want to go on vacation? Which bucket list items do you want to tackle?
Find a New Hobby
If your favorite hobbies are at risk of being taken away during a future lockdown, consider alternative options you can continue even if quarantine returns. Try a relaxing solo activity such as knitting, woodwork, or playing an instrument.