We did a post on self-care in the era of COVID-19 and self-isolation/social distancing, but as the weeks go on, we may find ourselves running out of coping strategies. The first few weeks were a bit of a novelty, finding new things to do, new ways to adapt, and new modalities of teaching and learning. But as the weeks progress, this new (albeit temporary) reality may start to wear on us, and even the most hardy of us may be running out of our usually effective coping skills.

Here are some that might be helpful to add to your arsenal.

Find the joy. I know, I know. It sounds Hallmark-y. But seriously. Find one good thing in each day, whether you were able to find toilet paper at the grocery store, your favorite beverage was in stock, or you watched your favorite show on Netflix – something. There is always something, no matter how big or small, that is good.

Be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to be productive right now. Let me repeat that: you do not have to be productive right now. This is a global pandemic. Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself healthy, happy, and functioning. For some people, that may look like productivity. For other people, that may look like avoidance of work. Give yourself some grace. If you’re not able to maintain the same level of productivity, there’s a good reason for that. However, if you’re having trouble functioning on a basic level, contact your health care provider. This is an international traumatic experience. Talking with someone may help.

Set small goals. Your concentration or focus may not be what it normally would be – and that’s fine. That is to be expected right now. If you’re working on your thesis or dissertation, or any other projects, set small, attainable goals for yourself. Take a look at what you want to accomplish, and break it down into small parts. It’s okay to go slow right now.

Mourn if you need to. Many events and milestones have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis: graduations, award ceremonies, classes, summer events, birthdays, job interviews, job start dates, and more. It’s okay to be upset about this. Let yourself feel what you need to in order to move forward.

If possible, get out. We know that different states, counties, or cities/towns all have different rules. If at all possible, get out of your house (wear a face covering!). Take a walk around the block (while also maintaining social distancing). Getting your body moving in the sunshine. Fresh air can be immensely helpful. If you’re not able to safely leave your house, at least open up a window or get out onto a deck or patio for a bit. Fresh air can be a nice pick-me-up, and the sunshine will provide much-needed vitamin D.

Escape with a book or movie. Especially if it’s not easy for you to get out of the house, escape in a different way. Pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read – libraries have ebook lending services, or support your local indie bookstore and order a book (or three) through them. Have a little time on your hands and don’t know what to watch? Try marathoning a new series or dive into some documentaries. No guilt allowed – it’s okay to escape for a bit.

Take a break from the news. Seriously. While it’s good to be informed, you don’t have to read or watch everything.

Move. Your body, that is. Put on some tunes and dance – this is also a great way for children to release some energy. Take advantage of all the free streaming yoga or workout classes. Simple stretches or deep breathing can help you relax and re-center.

Call someone. Being home, especially if you’re a single parent or not partnered, can be emotionally and psychologically trying. Whether it’s a hotline, a friend, a family member, or therapist, calling someone to talk (about anything!) can help.

Remember, these are not normal times. This is a global pandemic causing significant stress on a global scale. It is unprecedented in many of our lifetimes. Cut yourself some slack, and find coping strategies that work for you – and different coping skills may be helpful at different times. Here at Dissertation Editor, we understand what a unique and difficult time this is. When you’re ready to get back to work, or even if you want to work on your research and writing now, but need some guidance or assistance, contact us. We are always here for you with a variety of academic and professional services to help you reach your goals.

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