Coping with corona: A few positive thoughts

March 19, 2020
By Dewey Sanders
These are definitely not the best of times, and perhaps, they are not the worst of times either for most of us. However, they are very trying times and the most unusual times in my 83 years. It is a time when many of us are going to learn a lot about ourselves and our faith. There are multiple challenges now and ahead related to finances, lack of face-to-face support and the absence of enjoying so many things we usually have this time of year. But I sincerely believe we can cope and get through this as stronger and more committed persons.

Children may not always like structure, but we know that it helps them succeed in the things they are doing. The same is true for adults. To begin to cope with this virus in a positive manner, we must first put some structure in place for ourselves. We should have regular times to go to bed and get up. We need to eat regularly and consume healthy food if possible, though some snacks in moderation might help you cope. Avoid listening to the TV or news 24/7 as it is generally negative and will add to your depression. With structure you maintain some control of your life and are more likely to feel a stronger sense of hope.

Coping suggestions:

Think about what you can do to help others! Some brief ideas:
  1. Give to others who might be hurting whether it is through a program in your local church, UMCOR or a neighborhood pantry.
  2. Be willing to help relatives, persons in your church or work, or just others you know are in serious need.
  3. Check on neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure they are OK or find out if they have any specific need where you might help. My wife sends lots of cards each week, so people know that she is thinking about them and cares.
  4. Be aware that children through young adults can be challenged with this. It is so unusual, and many have lost their daily support from friends and caring adults like teachers.
  5. Check your pantry! Most of us have things we can share (including toilet paper and paper towels). You can share through your church pantry or perhaps many other places.
  6. Ask yourself if there is anyone you know or meet who just needs a kind word or gesture. This can be in your car, grocery or wherever.
  7. ​Remember to support your community servants including police, fire personnel, EMTs, teachers or ministers.
Think about what you can do for you!
  1. Increase your focus on spiritual activities such as prayer, Bible reading or meditation. We are often on the run and shortchange these disciplines.
  2. Remember to be grateful because grateful people are happy people. Despite everything happening now, we are still a blessed people.
  3. Do some tasks that often get crammed in at the last moment like working on taxes, cleaning the garage or straightening our closets -- endless little jobs we avoid.
  4. Work on a big project if you have one in mind. Many of us have something we are going to do someday. Now is the day to start.
  5. ​HOPE! Never give up because the God who created the world created us and loves us. I am always amazed in Psalms 8 that the God who created the universe visits me. He is here now, and we just have to hold on to Him.
Dewey Sanders is a psychologist who lives in Walton, Kentucky. He is retired vice president of Methodist Home of Kentucky.