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The amount of distress that we’ve been experiencing since the pandemic hit us has been overwhelming. It’s human nature to want to feel a sense of certainty and comfort in our lives, and once we entered a shutdown that was only supposed to last a few weeks, we suddenly saw our lives filled with uncertainty as the shutdown persisted for what felt like months on end. 

The anguish of not knowing what is next or how you will deal with it can cause a lot of despair, anxiety, and depression. Couple the uncertainty with the feelings of loss that many have experienced and you end up feeling emotionally exposed and vulnerable.

As vaccines roll out, many are starting to feel like they’re able to breathe a sigh of relief. There’s a sense that we are much closer to returning to a new normal. However, for many, access to a vaccine might still be months away making progress feel as elusive as ever. Here are a few ways to cope with the feelings of anguish and frustration.

  1. Create a routine for yourself

We enjoy routines, even those who pride themselves in being adventurous and spontaneous. This routine might look as simple as making your bed first thing in the morning, eating breakfast, and stretching for five minutes. If you know you will be starting off your morning the same way, you can prepare yourself for the rest of the day knowing that you have accomplished something already.

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  1. Go outside. Seriously, do it!

Even if it’s a ten-minute walk or jog, go outdoors and breathe some fresh air. Your future self will thank you for it. You might not notice the results right away but being able to go out and realize that you’re just a tiny part of this universe might be comforting. You can bet yourself that those who are outdoors are probably going through it just like you are.

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  1. Call a friend or family member.

There’s just something comforting and grounding about having a phone conversation with someone. While our daily lives seem to include more working than ever, picking up the phone takes you away from your daily responsibilities and to-do list. It’s a reminder that there is someone waiting for you post-pandemic to hang out with.

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  1. Go green and get a plant.

We’ve all heard it, I don’t have a green thumb. But for many that has meant that they didn’t have the time to focus on tending to a plant that they might remember to water or not. Here’s your chance to really learn how to keep that plant alive. Having a plant is also a great reminder that life goes on – no matter what, a plant will keep growing and be a symbol of hope and resiliency.

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  1. Pick up a new hobby.

We saw everyone do it at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still a great time to start. Having a hobby is a healthy habit to have even once the pandemic is over. Committing to a new hobby might be daunting since the expectation is that you do it often but don’t put that pressure on yourself. Having a hobby works to remind yourself that it’s there when you need it. Maybe it’s coloring or bird watching, maybe it’s hiking or running. Whatever it is, do it as an escape and for no reason other than just because.

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