Coping with Feelings During a Crisis

by Lorrie Loughney, MPA, NCG Coordinator of Older Adult Services

In many ways, it is completely normal to feel boredom and anxious feelings when a global pandemic such as the corona-virus (Covid-19) occurs.  This unprecedented virus is creating very serious health and economic implications that we must take seriously.  Keeping our social-physical distance can leave us feeling isolated and unsure.

Carol King:

This is me self-isolating as a healthy (knock wood!) elder taking extra precautions. I just finished getting dressed as if I were going out. I even put on a little bit of lipstick and blush and earrings. Despite being isolated, I’m making every effort to look and feel my best and do normal things such as making my bed, vacuuming, and doing yoga, stretching, and dancing. Don’t let the new “normal” get you down.  We will get through this.”                                                       

Because there are so many variables over which we do not have control, it is important to focus on those things that we can control. Understanding the variables will begin to help us take control over our anxious feelings.  Boredom and Anxious: Coping with Feelings During a CrisisFor instance, taking recommended precautions, social distancing, staying home and ensuring you have adequate supplies will bring us a better sense of peace and order. Taking good care of ourselves with proper hydration, nutrition and sleep will provide for better safety and health overall.  Finding ways to be socially connected, mentally stimulated and physically active during this time are ways to keep anxious feelings from taking over.

The following resources will hopefully get you started coping with boredom and anxious feelings.

  • Breathing exercises will help you reset the blood flow to your brain and help you to be calm.
  • Mindfulness exercises keep us from getting ahead of ourselves. Appreciate having a little time and a little solitude.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends, check on neighbors.
  • Keep a journal – imagine the story that you can leave for future generations!
  • Catch up on home projects, reading, crafts, puzzles, games and other hobbies.
  • Use the good dishes!
  • Complete your census survey!
  • Take a break from the news.
  • Get some fresh air and exercise (but adhere to social distancing!).
  • Binge watch!
  • Dance like no one is watching (they won’t be!).
  • Stay connected through social media.
  • Many religious organizations are reaching out to offer prayers, thoughts, and even full worship services online.

There is a plethora of websites that offer information and lessons online. Exercise, cooking and crafts, virtual tours of museums, landmarks and more. There is an almost endless array of music videos, video podcasts, how-to videos, and other educational things available on YouTube and TED talks have lectures and keynote speakers on just about any topic that makes you curious.

Don’t forget to talk about your concerns with others.  Talking to others will help you realize you’re not alone in this and it’s a healthy way to process for both you and a friend.

Here are a few web sites to get you started:

The Metropolitan Opera

Lackawanna Co. Library

Exercising  YMCA, Scranton JCC


National Park and other Virtual Tours

Versailles Palace Virtual Tour

Live stream: zoos and aquariums

Did you know?  Shakespeare wrote King Lear while under quarantine.


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