Difficult times can call for desperate measures—and the pandemic is definitely a difficult time, so coping with the pandemic can call for desperate measures. Sometimes it feels like we’ve all slipped through the looking-glass, and while some of us are handling these challenges well, others are struggling—and who is which might switch at any time.
All that’s missing is the Mad Hatter offering a spot of afternoon tea to a hyperactive hare. Coping is a skill, sure, but it's also one that wavers and shifts. What works today may not work tomorrow. Since we seem to be trapped in this never-ending tea party, finding ways to cope with this pandemic that don’t involve discussing un-birthday gifts seems suddenly very important. Here are a few ways NOT to cope with the pandemic.
Coping With the Pandemic
Plenty of places are offering some solid advice on coping, but few have taken a serious look at a handful of the least effective approaches some of us may also be taking. Yes, we know: Rod Serling will be out any minute now to tell us all the moral of the story and cut to commercial break, but until that happens, let's all make sure to avoid these poor coping strategies:
- Do NOT take up moonshining. It may be tempting to set up a still and get to making booze for the end-times. And it may seem like everyone is doing it especially given the American Heart Association’s finding that alcohol sales have skyrocketed during the heaviest lockdowns. Remember that alcohol probably almost never solves anything, and according to the CDC, it could even make people more vulnerable to the virus.
- Do NOT become a cave hermit or forest witch. No matter how hard freedom calls, don’t let yourself forget that you have a place in this world. Even if you have the perfect cave picked out, or the gingerbread house you commissioned is already getting its gumdrop roof, know that the real world will eventually come knocking. We jest but it's important to keep yourself in touch with the real world. Save yourself the culture shock of emerging after a long lockup by staying connected. Skype and similar video conferencing apps can help you keep in touch.
- Do NOT blow the kids’ college funds on penny stocks. Seriously. Now is probably not the time for rash investment decisions. Yes, college is uncertain for a lot of people who had solid plans a year or two ago. The New York Times has reported a huge drop in attendance, and who’s surprised? It’s still probably a good idea to keep planning for everyone’s future. And while investing is a great strategy, this might not be the time to bank on what is sure to be an uncertain ride on the DOW train.
- Do NOT quit your day job to backpack across the country. No matter how badly you’ve got the fever, no matter how loudly you hear the beat, remind yourself that a cross-country trek might not be the answer. Whatever difficulties might be weighing on us all, it's better to face them head-on. Avoiding the challenge altogether only lets them build and grow, and no one can backpack with that kind of weight.
- Do NOT trade lives with your dog. It may seem like the dog has it all, but he’s probably just incredibly bored most of the time. And let’s face it: He’d get you fired from your job in less than a week. Do both of yourselves a favor and keep family designations where they are. Don’t let this pandemic steal your identity. Let fido lay around while you keep at it—in moderation.
- Do NOT waste your time building a time machine. This may feel like the most logical way to survive the pandemic, but we all need to get through this, together. A 70's disco night might be great in the moment, but let's not try to bring back bellbottoms or Miami Vice suits.
- Do NOT prep for the zombie apocalypse. The world has become a little strange, and there’s always a chance the zompoc preppers will have their day, but it’s probably a safer bet to prepare for minor disruptions instead. Ready.gov recommends always having a small stash of extra food, water and medications, just in case—but aside from that, we need to save enough for everyone. Be sure to keep hoarding tendencies in check by remembering we all want the neighbors to be able to wipe, too.
There are better ways to cope and keep crisis fatigue from taking over during these scary times than to overdrink, hide, or hoard. We jest here, sure, but we can all get through it if we take care of each other (mask up!), laugh a little, and focus on the future. If we keep our heads straight and keep seeking out new solutions, we will get through this and the tea party will end soon enough.
Copyright 2020, Wellness.com