Quality of Life During COVID-19
GEMMA COLLINS DOYLE
I bet when we said farewell to 2019 and welcomed in 2020 last New Years Eve, we could not imagine the year we had ahead of us! Its true, we never know what the future holds, but I bet none of us thought we would be living through a Pandemic.
As I write this, it is the end of September, more than six months into lockdowns, restrictions, and a different way of life (for the moment anyway). So many things have changed, so many businesses have had to pivot in the way they do things, home life has changed, work life has changed, and school and colleges have had to adapt too. None of it has been easy. For all of us, our lives have been turned upside down.
In the early days of this global pandemic, we were anxious, afraid, and nervous about what the future held. However, in the mix of all these emotions and this strange situation we found ourselves in, many people stumbled upon a new way of life. They were spending more time at home; many were grateful for this. A break from long commutes and a chance to work in a flexible way that would suit their lifestyle. Lots of people took up new hobbies, some learned to cook, others decided to get fit! We found time for each other we learnt some new skills that maybe we would never have gotten around to.
Quality of life
While all the things mentioned above were nice bonuses to take out of such a negative situation, we cannot ignore the fact that the quality of life has been affected in so many other ways.
As we trundle into month seven of this health emergency, its important to recognise, that even the most resilient of people are starting to find the situation wearing and hard.
It is not easy to be cooped up in your house without the opportunity to be social. As anthropologists have said, humans are social beings. It does not take scientific studies to figure out how most humans enjoy being with other humans. We freely gather in groups at sporting events, concerts, restaurants, shopping establishments, parties, and other places. We also group together on planes, trains, lifts, buses, schools and waiting rooms.
So many people already live with high anxiety and worries even when there is no pandemic to be worried about. Add to that the constant stream of news we can’t always be sure of, with number of cases, death tolls rising and no true end in sight, compounded by the fact that we are not seeing our friends, families and acquaintances, every day.. It is enough to push anyone to the brink of desperation and in need of an outlet to cope.
Now more than ever, we need to bolster our health, mental and physical and keep our outlook as positive as possible. Winter is coming and I know I am not the only one who is wondering what it will bring.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your quality of life during this time:
· Be present in the moment and stop worrying about the future – much as we would all love to have a crystal ball and see what is to come, we do not. We must try and ground ourselves in the present moment, it sounds like a cliché, but it really is all we have!
· There is a pandemic going on, give yourself some grace and be kind to yourself – treat yourself more, do what makes you happy.
· Get outside! – Nature is the best healer. Getting outdoors at least once a day can help shift your mood and outlook within minutes. Fresh aid and plenty of Vitamin D will make sure you go into the winter as healthy as possible.
· Drink water – Stay hydrated. Your body will work more efficiently, and you will be more energised.
· Gratitude – In these crazy times it is easy to loose sight of the little things in life. Try starting your day with at least five things you are grateful for right now. They can be the small things, like a hot cup of tea on a chilly morning, writing them down can be even more powerful.
· Plan a day trip – Its always nice to have something to look forward to, travelling abroad may be a no no right now, but what about exploring things in your local area?
· Try Yoga – yoga is such a great exercise, great for the body and the mind and the bonus is you can do it anywhere! There are lots of online classes and videos available online. Check your local yoga studio and see if they are offering online video classes and support your local business.
· Exercise – we all know the benefits of exercise and how it can boost your system. Consider taking up something new, challenge yourself the next few months and try and keep your head space clear.
· Limit your screen and news time – This has been a game changer for me personally. Instead of listening to news all day long, on the hour, every hour, I have turned off the radio. I like to listen to music instead and choose what I am in the mood for. I make the choice when I listen to the news and for how long. It has really helped my anxiety levels, give it a try!
This will not last forever, what we do now for our mental, emotional and physical health will help us get through whatever is to come. Keep the faith and look after you.
Here are some Apps to help –
Headspace – A winner of a 2019 Healthline Best Anxiety Apps award, this is one of three apps developed to guide everyday mindfulness in only a few moments. It offers directed meditations for managing stress, sleep, productivity, and other daily tasks and includes mini meditations for when you are on the move.
Meditopia – Meditopia’s library offers over 1000+ guided meditations on topics including stress, anxiety, acceptance, happiness, motivation, focus and breath. With over 7 million members worldwide, they offer each of these members deep-dive meditations.
Streaks – Streaks is a to-do list that helps you form good habits, and an essential app to hold you accountable to all your goals. The app allows you to track up to twelve tasks you want to complete each day and the goal is to build a streak of consecutive days. Whether it is going for a run, reading a chapter of a book, or quitting smoking – Streaks can help you keep track of these tasks.