Some people might look at the picture above and think this person looks lonely. Is she wishing she could go outside and be with other people?
Other people might look at the same person and think she looks happy. Is she reading a book, playing a video game, dreaming up the next novel she will write?
How we look at a picture is different for each of us, and so is how we cope with Covid-19. There is no right or wrong way to interpret a photograph, and there is no right or wrong way to respond to the changes we are all going through on our planet. But there are 3 things you might keep in mind for yourself: I call it Self-ACT.
You may need to advocate for yourself if you are living with people, sheltering together with very little opportunity to get away from them. This might mean asking them not to put the news on TV when you are in the room if you find it upsetting. It might mean asking for their patience if you find you are taking longer to formulate an answer when they’ve asked a question. Under extreme stress, things that used to be easy may seem almost insurmountable. Self-advocation includes letting others around you know that your brain is experiencing extremely high volume so there may be extended wait and response times.
This is an important time to take care of yourself. You deserve to be cared for. This will look different for each person. Some find that sticking to a regular routine of showering and dressing as if going to work help them maintain equilibrium. Others find that the comfort of wearing the same cozy pajamas and slippers day in and day out is like wearing a hug. Some people find escape in learning everything they can about a new hobby or topic. Others find that familiarity is an anchor, and they find refuge in playing the same video games, TV reruns, or favorite play lists again and again and again.
Only you know what will be the most helpful for you. Trust yourself. If someone else is trying to tell you to shower and dress up every day, and the idea is excruciating to you, trust that you know yourself best, and Self-ADVOCATE. If you find that you are your own worst critic, telling yourself that you are “less than” if you don’t meet your personal expectations, remember Self-CARE may include telling the negative voice inside your head to back off. Knowing what’s the next right thing for you is Self-TRUST. You’ve got this.
We will all get through Covid together, knowing that whatever sacrifices we are making now are heroic acts of love for our planet and all of humanity.