We are times many of us have never experienced before due to COVID-19 pandemic with so much loss of life and being forced to stay home for our protection and the protection of others. We are all going through this situation differently. For someone like myself who has a family, a wife and daughter to support has had the privilege to work from home which includes my full-time job and teach in the evenings.
Life appeared to be going great in January when I finally getting back to work from losing my job in October and I was very excited until this pandemic completely turned our lives inside out in a flash. Living in the United States and more specifically California we are in a very populated state which went into lockdown very quickly.
We all have our Story
My employer immediately put the employee’s health first by allowing us to work from home, in addition to the college I teach out be allowed to teach in an online format. Employers have had to adjust the way we are allowed to work which hopefully has opened the eyes of employers on how we can all work from home and still be successful.
I have been home since March 16th with wife and child on lockdown as my daughters’ school is now part of the stay a home order which I am now also home schooling while working. Some of you may be saying ok get to the point.
The point is that due to being locked down the loss of enjoyment is in reach and for many it has arrived as there is literally nowhere to go and even those places we are able to go is typically the market or fast food we must hurry back home once again. Yes we do have parks which are still open and if those were closed I feel many of us would not be able to handle this situation.
I am someone who has experienced deep depression and still do from time to time, so being locked down has caused me to lose enjoyment in my life at this time. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my family and want to support them, but it means mentally and physically I am being affected on a different level. I will feel angry at times, I feel tired, I feel frustrated, I feel on the edge and I will withdrawn at times as I try to work out still a way to cope with these changes.
The Hardest Part
The hardest part of this situation is being home all the time, as I am someone who has to be out and about. Although I get to have a nice stroll in the park regularly, I no longer feel the need to be around people during this time and many of us have this fear of the people we are around especially strangers who may pass the virus to us causing us to take it home and infect our families a fear we should all have.
I know it’s easy to say don’t live in fear, but that is exactly what is happening now as many I see do not following proper protocols of covering up, washing hands and just staying home increasing the chances the virus spreading. I get that we will have a vaccine at some point, but I will not be right now. In addition, the addition of the News and Media really amplify what is happening with COVID-19. I get the media has a job to do, which is based on ratings which equals money.
Being the United States we have every form of news one can imagine from CNN to Fox to Local to Specialty the list goes on which adds to the voices of confusion which in my view adds to playing on peoples fears especially when imagery is used to suck the viewer in. This in affect causes panic which leads for many like myself into depression and fear, not something we should be striving for.
Loss of enjoyment is real and its happening now but there are ways to control our reaction and limit how we feel. Here are some ways we can get back our enjoyment and be more positive in these times:
Focus on what you can control
Fear and depression can make us feel powerless. Additionally, add in anxiousness of what is going on today limiting your view to such areas of “I can’t see my friends”, “ The stock market taking a dive” and “The fear of getting sick”.
While you cannot control your feelings or the actions of others, you are not powerless. Shifting your attention to those things you can control can restore your sense of urgency and self-confidence.
Things you can control such as what you eat , your daily routine such as exercise and self care. All of these things matter on focusing our energy on the positive.
Limit Your Media Intake
As mentioned earlier media intake can really play to our fears, in my cases it actually has caused me to grow angrier. Of course, we want information on the pandemic, but really limit how much you watch and from whom you get your information. I find we live in the world of opinion which are NOT back by facts. Social Media and News are probably two areas I have found myself to have to limit because of just the pure amount of hate and negativity online.
If you notice yourself getting agitated, fearful or depleted when you’re seeking news, then time for a beak. Very likely, the general guidelines of “Wash your hands” and “Maintain Social distance” will not change if you take a few hours to disconnect.
People are working to make it better
While many of us are at home remember there are those who are working diligently to find a curse and end this pandemic so we can all get back to somewhat normal. After listening to the media its easy to start to believe the negative voices like “The government isn’t doing anything”, “Doctors don’t know what they are doing,” or “People don’t respect the guidelines”
There are also those stories of hope, although we have to search for those they do exist as those who give a helping hand, families coming together and sharing with those in need. Your depression and anxiety can minimize from hearing these stories.
Invest in Uplifting
As mentioned there are ways to be uplifted during this time but we need search for it by surrounding yourself with uplifting media, people , activities and thoughts can help encourage a more optimistic mindset. Find those things that bring you comfort, such as reading a good book or writing. I find comfort in Writing, Reading, teaching and remembering those positive times in my life. We can do these things and will change our mindset and get us through these dark times .
Set a personal goal
One of the best ways I have found to get through tough times is to set personal goals such as learning a new skill. Being at home does not me that is the end to self-learning or making new goals such as saving money such as creating a plan post pandemic. Continuing to take steps towards your personal and career goals can also help you maintain hope throughout all this.
Do your part
Lastly, remember that if you are reading this and looking for hope remember you are doing your part. You, along with society have all been asked to do something extraordinary and stay home, protect ourselves, loved ones and society. I can’t stress this enough this will end, why add to the confusion by being angry, being a jerk in society. I get people feel powerless, but you are not focus on what is important. I know this is easier said then done as people are unemployed, low on money, can’t pay the bills which are all important facts, but lets try our best to through this and live to fight another day.
Hope is on the way
Hopefully this brings you some comfort and guide to help get through this pandemic and bring back our enjoyment in life and realize what is important. Obliviously I can’t tell you what is important that is up to you, but to start family, friends, living is all important. Make your plan, stick to it and before you know it we will be on the road to recovery, it can and will happen and we will prosper in the end believe that.