Strategies for Coping

It can be challenging to know how to best cope better with the stress caused by the pandemic. Here are three coping strategies that are relevant for this situation

Emotion-focused strategies are intended to minimise negative emotions caused by the stressful circumstances. They are effective when the situation is not in our control.


  • Accept the situation or parts of it
  • Differentiate between what is in your control what is not. Act on what you can control
  • See the bigger picture / context: what else is going on?
  • Learn to tolerate ambiguity and setbacks
  • Accept what cannot be changed
    Accept your own limits
  • Be true to yourself


  • Use humour
  • Develop positive outlook (hope / optimism)
  • Positive reframing: challenge unhelpful interpretations (consider how accurate your perception is)
    Challenge negative thoughts / reduce destructive self talk / look at facts not worst case scenarios
  • Avoid overthinking (distract yourself, express thoughts in writing, talk to someone or set a later time to obsess)
  • Avoidance (temporary measure / Sometimes it is better to take time off)
  • When highly stressed learn to take time off
  • Restraint: hold off doing anything until the situation permits
  • Use a healthy distraction


  • Practice mindfulness (be fully aware of the present moment) — mindfulness resources
  • Practice gratitude
  • Boost positive emotions (do something you enjoy every day)
  • Apply self compassion – we are only human. We should not judge ourselves too harshly
  • Engage in play – either by yourself or with others you share the space with
  • Engage in activities that you enjoy / make you happy / are nurturing every day
  • Reward yourself in healthy ways
  • Savour little joys / Replay happy days
    Appreciate beauty and excellence
  • Write a gratitude diary

In stressful times often important beliefs, values and mindsets are challenged and questioned. Meaning focused strategies help us face these questions. Exploring what is really important to us can helps us gain perspective

Self awareness

  • Clarify your values: what is important to you in your life
  • Spend some time thinking about the meaning and purpose of your life
  • Spend some time thinking about the meaning and purpose of your work
  • Examine your life goals: develop consistent, meaningful, realistic goals
  • Reconnect with your true motivation / passion / calling


  • Reflect how you can grow from the experience
  • Consider what you can learn from the situation, and share your learning with others
  • Benefit finding: think what is good about the situation
    Identify your personal gifts and strengths and consider how you can use them
  • Remind yourself of past experience and what you can learn from them that can be applied here
  • Build resilience as a protective measure


  • Engage with prayer, faith community, or spiritual activities


  • Create a comfort zone that gives you a sense of peace and calm
  • Practice relaxation techniques / breathing exercises / exercising – There are many resources available online
  • Practice mindfulness / meditation — mindfulness resources
  • Take regular minibreaks every day and regular “downtimes”
  • Take “me” time: to care for yourself and reflect
  • Connect with nature if the terms of your self-isolation allow for that
  • Engage with a recreational activity (singing / dancing / arts, etc)


  • Improve sitting / standing posture – we are likely to spend a lot of time online in self isolation. We must look after our posture.
  • Reduce unhealthy food / drink
  • Take care of your appearance – Try avoid spending the whole day in your pajamas. Taking care of our appearance increases self respect
  • Eat well balanced meals with adequate nutrition, vitamins, and minerals
  • Exercise regularly – There are many online resources and online classes for indoor exercises
  • Sleep hygiene – good sleep is important to emotional and physical well being
  • Keep to a routine

We hope that you find these strategies helpful. You are invited to share your experiences and raise any questions you may have in the Home Life forum section.


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