Here are some tips to get started.
Here are some proven ways to help you to cope.
Acknowledge how you feel
Pay attention to how you are reacting and how you are acting. What feelings do they come from? Are you angry because you are worried? Are you short tempered because you're stressed? Is there really anything you can actually do to control the situation? Look behind your behaviour to find the source. That can help you to accept that you're feeling something reasonable when confronted with such an unreasonable situation.
Be kind to yourself.
It's a trying time and new territory for everyone. It's a pretty normal reaction to feel at all at sea at the moment. Be OK to feel how you feel. It's a terrible situation, and you can allow that to be in your life for some of the time.
Log off most social media.
There's a lot of negativity, opinion, and false information flowing. That serves to increase anxiety and make the situation more difficult and can actually make you very anxious. Turning that off will almost immediately make you feel better. Instead, use social media to stay in touch with actual friends and family. Use it to be the "social" in your social isolation, so you're not there alone. The trick is to use it with intent, not to idly scroll though whatever you bump into on your feeds.
Select your information source.
Perhaps ABC news and the new Federal Government COVID-19 app - search for coronavirus Australia in the App Store or on Google play. Stay away from statistics, commentary, and 24-hour news channels. The sensational, the endless, and the negative will all serve to make you anxious while not actually helping you to cope.
Check in with family, friends, and neighbours and make a point of asking if they're OK.
Make sure they all know how to contact you, and assure them that they can ask you for anything and that you'd be happy to try and help. Being kinds to others is very rewarding, and helps make this easier for everyone. And now for the hard part - you may be the one who needs the help. Ask for it and accept it with good grace, gratitude, and the intent to repay the favour in some way. The world will be a better place if we all manage this one!
Easier to say than do, but the trick here is to remember the things you did as a kid. It involves imagination, play, and choosing things that take up time! Slow yourself down, breathe in the moment. Try a puzzle, or listen to music - all the lyrics, all the songs from one album etc. Make every moment count. You might just be amazed how much pleasure can be derived from doing small things with care and attention. Humans relax in those moments, and can find joy. Yes, even in cleaning.
Be creative in your thinking.
Try to re frame the negatives into positives as an active exercise. "I can't go to the gym" can become "I can finally learn yoga." "I'm stuck at home all day" becomes "I have time to create an amazing meal." It's really OK to do it however you like. Focussing on the positive is a way to make you feel more positive. The negative thoughts are often the easier ones , and they'll happily take you to a dark and miserable place. If you let them. Positivity as an act of defiance!
Remember - this is temporary!
It will end. As Gandalf said in The Fellowship Of The Ring, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Of course, if struggling, seek further help. It’s OK to be struggling, and some people are more vulnerable than others. You deserve to be helped as much as your neighbours. Most mental health services are operating with telehealth provisions, allowing video and telephone calls.
How are you remaining calm during your lock-down period?
Comments welcome below.