Tips for Coping in the Pandemic

By Candace Berger

This blog is intended to help you relax and be safe. Now “The Five Senses Tips” is to help to bring you back to the present if you find yourself dissociating. These also help when you find you are worrying about things in your life. It will help distract you from worrying. Continue to do them until you feel better or you had enough.

The Five Senses goes like this:

1. Sight- what are 5 things you see?

2. Touch- what are 4 things you can touch?

3. Hearing- what are 3 things you can hear?

4. Smell- what are 2 things you can smell?

5. Taste- what is 1 thing you can taste?

Now on to the next exercise. The Deep Breathing exercise is to help you with anxiety and worry.  It is a simple breathing exercise that doesn’t take much effort. You can do this anywhere. First, you want to take in a deep breath in through your nose and count as many numbers you can go. It doesn’t have to be a lot of numbers, just some numbers. Then breath out through your mouth and count as many numbers you can go. Keep it at a slow steady pace. Be sure to stop if you are feeling dizzy. This has helped me become calmer before a job or a meeting with a peer specialist. I hope this helps you to become calmer and feeling safer.

Drawing with pens or pencils is a way to distract yourself from the stress caused by the pandemic. Draw anything that your heart desires even if you feel it is not good, just keep at it. Or you could get some drawing tutorials online on Youtube to help with forming your pictures. Here is a tutorial that might help you start out: and you could subscribe to the page if you like the lessons. This will give you more lessons on how to draw.

Now I heard about this from my housemate about a color by number app on your phone that has me going back for more. So, I went searching for it on google play and found an app called “Happy Color”. It has many different scenes and many different colors in the picture itself. Some have 50 colors while others have about 91. It all depends on the complexity of the picture. There are hints as to where one uncolored spot might be in a light bulb at the top right spot of the screen. There will be a light bulb appearing on the left hand of the screen. If you click it, it will go to an advertisement and then when it is done and you have clicked the x on the screen, then you gain two more hints for finding color spots. I hope this app brings you countless hours of fun.

Another artistic thing you could do is paint, especially if you have the paints and canvas. You could do abstract to realism styles of painting or paint whatever comes to you. The four types of paints I know of are Watercolor, Acrylic, Oil, and Tempera paints. Again, you could use youtube to find painting tutorials that match your style. Some stores you can find these paints and canvas are Amazon, Michaels Craft Store, and Utrechtart. If you have Pinterest on your phone you can search for boards with painting tutorials. My favorites are acrylic pouring tutorials and acrylic painting of pictures. You could try those if you ever want to do some of it.

If you feel like it, you could write a short story or a novel if you are ambitious about it. Another thing you write is a song, especially if you have a desire to with your musical talents. This is another way to distract you from the doldrums of being indoors. Again, go to Youtube for tutorials on writing and grammar and writing a song.

The next thing might be something you already do but it could be used to talk about it here. Take a nice long bath with bubbles or salt. That is usually soothing to the body to help you calm down. And if you are in a place that allows scented candles, then go ahead and light them for a while you are in the bath. Also, you could listen to music while in the bath. Just be careful not to electrocute yourself if you have ear buds attached to a phone. Keep the phone at a good distance or on a chair next to the tub. You could still continue to listen to music while you get out of the tub. Then when you get out of the bath put some comfy clothing on like soft pajamas and soft slippers. This tip could be used for a nighttime ritual.

Last tip is that I encourage you to keep in contact with people either through the phone or through video chat if you have a computer or smart phone. You could also talk with the people that you live with and see how they are doing at this time. I hope these tips help you to relax and find support through the means that you have.