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Thoughts on Coping Strategies for this Difficult Time

By Gail Birger

In this difficult time many of us are struggling with anxiety, depression, despair, and loneliness. In order to feel better, the following are some common-sense coping strategies you may want to try:

1.  Structure your time.

2.  Offer help/ask for help.

3.  Reach out to others via phone, email, and social media.

4.  Take a walk and observe signs of spring.

5.  Keep a journal; write about your feelings, what you’re grateful for, what brings you joy.

6.  Send a note to someone you haven’t heard from in a while.

7.  List a few accomplishments that you’re proud of.

8.  Maintain a hopeful attitude that things will improve.

9.  Smile.

10.  Stay safe and sane.

Although you know what you should do, you may find yourself resisting putting into practice even a couple of the strategies listed above. Psychologists define resistance as the reluctance to engage in new and unfamiliar behavior. Thus, you resist change and tend to repeat old and familiar patterns of behavior even though they don’t help you feel better.

However, you have a choice. You can maintain your depression and anxiety or you can choose a method that will give you a better outcome. For example, in order to get started and not feel overwhelmed, choose only one coping strategy that you feel sure you will be successful in implementing. Practice that strategy and then reward yourself for taking the risk.

You can control how you feel.

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