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  • Bettina Applewhite

Coping during COVID-19

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

We're currently in a time of uncertainty. If you are like me, uncertainty is not fun. I'm a person who likes to be in control of me. I've been learning a lot lately about how to handle not knowing the future or controlling the outcome. Those lessons have definitely come in handy during this time.

The media and maybe even yourself and your surroundings want you to panic. But I urge you not to panic but to remain calm. Not being fearful is not the same as being irresponsible. You can be respectful of the situation without heading out to the beach or gathering with others. We should all do our part to flatten the curve. Fear is being afraid of the future. Faith is knowing that you don't know the future, but you will be okay in that future.

I love to travel. Seeing a new place and experiencing new cultures is so exciting to me. A couple of years ago, I got an unprovoked blood clot in my leg. It can be a very dangerous situation. If the clot breaks off, it can travel to your heart or lungs and can cause serious complications, including death. It took me a couple of weeks before I got my DVT (deep vein thrombosis a.k.a. blood clot) diagnosed. One reason was because I was stubborn and another reason was because I was initially misdiagnosed. But when I was finally diagnosed, I found myself afraid. I was afraid of what was going on in my body, and I was having trouble falling asleep because of worry.

I finally realized what I was doing was more detrimental than helpful. I had to do a lot of self talk in order to calm my nerves and switch from fear to faith. I had to believe that everything would be okay even if it would be the worst of outcomes; all would be well.

But I still had to comply with the recommended orders. I wore compression stockings in the summer. Let me tell you how not cute these things are. They are knee high socks that are tight and hot and doesn't go with anything I own. It was too hot for jeans so I had to own my multicolored tacky socks in public. I was on a blood thinner for several weeks and would bruise pretty easily. Now I either wear my socks for long travel or take a baby aspirin. I turned my fear into faith and a new way of life.

I challenge you during this time to turn your anxiety and fear into faith. It takes effort and practice. It's an effort that's well worth it in the end. Here's some tips on coping during COVID-19:

Stay Informed but Don't Overload

It's important to know what is happening in the world around you. Restrictions and statistics are changing daily. It's important to stay up-to-date on recommendations and know what closings are happening. It's also important to turn off the negativity and focus on something else. Even though COVID-19 information is easy to find, there's more going on in the world. There's more information out there than this one topic.

Call and Chat with Friends & Coworkers You Miss

Many people are now working from home or avoiding their usual routine. The usual social interaction that you have is limited to the people in your house. The phone systems are still working. Give your neighbor a call. Chat with a friend you haven't spoken with in awhile and catch up on what's been going on. Call your coworkers or church members or workout partners and make sure they are doing well.

Stay Active

Many gyms have closed. I belong to two and they are both closed because of mandates. They are both offering at home videos for workouts for free! Check to see if your gym is doing something similar. There are videos On-Demand and YouTube workouts you can try. Don't forget that the outdoors aren't closed. You can go for a walk, run or do some gardening.

Cook at Home

Of course, I'm going to encourage you to try some new recipes. Now is the time to try that recipe from this blog that you always wanted to try. Because of what's left, you may be forced to try a new food item. And you may find a new favorite.

Support Local Businesses

Many businesses are taking a financial hit because of the restrictions. Some are adapting to provide free shipping or free delivery. Some restaurants are still open for carry out only. I know that many families are taking a financial hit as well. If you can, shop local. Some of those local stores have what you need now while the big chain stores are selling out.

Give Yourself Down Time to Relax

It's okay to do nothing during this time too. I'm the kind of person who needs a goal to focus on to keep me centered. I have to give myself permission every now and then to sit down. It's okay to not "accomplish" something everyday. Sometimes taking a long bath, sitting in silence, laying in bed in your own funk is an accomplishment too.

Read a Book

Even if your libraries have closed, I'm sure there's at least one book in your house that you haven't read or can read again. Books are a great way to escape from reality or learn something interesting. It's a good time to let your mind wonder into a new world.

Catch Up on Your Favorite Shows

I don't know if this has to be said but now is an excellent time to watch good TV and bad TV. I started watching a reality TV show after 4 or 5 seasons had already aired but I couldn't find the first seasons to figure out what they were talking about. Magically, now I can find all the seasons OnDemand right now. So I'm catching up now. There are new episodes and movies and documentaries dropping on Netflix and Hulu too.

Tackle a Project You've Been Putting Off

I'm good for a "one day when I have time...". Well, guess what? Now there's time to at least get started on that project that you've been putting off. Like I said before, I'm more focused with a goal. I was signed up and had trained hard for the NYC Half Marathon that was canceled a few days before. I've decided to try again next year but I need a goal for right now. So now I'm working on those things.

Be Flexible

In these current times, it's hard to make plans or even grocery shop with a list. Be flexible with your time and your expectations. The only person you will frustrate is yourself.

This blog will keep going with providing new recipes and tips for entertaining for when it's safe to do so again. After awhile of not being around people, I'm sure the first thing I'll want to do is plan a party. This blog will help you make sure it's delicious from the first bite!



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