In Our Words: A fresh approach to COVID-19 care

I just got back from a week away from work and boy, was it just what I needed. Getting away from the old computer and home office has given me a different perspective on some things that I’d like to share.

COVID-19 has been a very frightening time for everyone. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the disease, what comes next, what the best way to fight it is, all that. What I did find is there are good and bad ways to deal with the distress and change in schedule and routine that comes with COVID-19.

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It can be really easy to forget about the little things - not combing your hair, for instance. Hell, I used to do that all the time before the pandemic. (Having a job where you can get away with wearing a hat really helps.)

That said, once things slide into forgetting to change out of pajamas or go outside all day, that’s not convenient. That’s just sloppy. I’ve done that way too much during COVID-19 and I’m going to stop it now.

This is the slightly annoying part of self-care. Self-care isn’t about eating all the junk food you can stomach or sleeping all day. It’s literally about taking care of yourself. It’s about feeling better by doing little, constructive things. It isn’t always fun, but it has an impact.

Drink more water. Clean your room, office, house, workspace, whatever. Facetime or chat with some friends - or even better yet, go see them as long as you’re not breaking health orders.

Keep a constant sleep schedule. That’s one piece of advice I’ll admit I haven’t been able to keep very well - then again, it’s also something I wasn’t doing very well before COVID-19. I do my best writing after midnight. What can I say?

Get some fresh air, go to the lake - just get outside. Even if it’s raining and dreary, that northern air and the little things that go along with it - that dull, shaky rumble of the wind going through the trees, animal sounds, all that - can perk you right up.

Try to treat others with kindness and understanding when possible. It can be easy to forget that not everybody has seen all the things you’ve seen or heard what you’ve heard - having some patience is positive.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t hide your emotions. Keeping the way you feel bottled up inside is never constructive. It’s okay to be scared or unsure. If you aren’t at least a little worried during COVID-19, you’re not paying attention. If you can find mental health assistance, talk to a therapist or someone else who is trained to help. If you can’t find that, there’s plenty of phone hotlines that can help you get through a tough time.

Another thing - when you get a chance, support your local businesses. They support you whenever possible and you likely know the people who run them, from the bosses all the way down. Amazon won’t sponsor your kid’s minor hockey team and Google won’t help you out when you need it. Be sure to show the people who do some love right now.

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