Strategies to Cope Well in Challenging Times

There is no doubt that all of us are facing multidimensional challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic. While it may not be realistic to thrive or be anxiety free, we CAN take steps to foster optimal health and wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions to help you take good care of yourself so you can emerge more resilient than before:

  • Recognize and accept that the stress and anxiety you may be feeling is normal in these uncertain times.
  • Be compassionate with yourself. Be aware of and steep away from any critical self- talk.  Take some extra time to pray, meditate, do yoga or read uplifting passages or quotes.
  • Practice healthy habits.  Try to maintain your regular schedule as much as possible.  Practice good sleep hygiene: stop screen time at least 1 hour before getting ready for bed. Follow regular bedtimes and waking times.  Eat healthy meals throughout the day.  This may be a great time to explore new healthy recipes including lots of fruits and vegies.
  • Exercise! Get outside in nature at least 6 feet away from others and breathe fresh air. Go for a hike, ride bikes or roller blade. Being in nature is proven to release endorphins that boost mood.
    Inside, try yoga or Pilates videos and/ or lift weights.  (Improvise: use cans of soup if you’ve no weights at home.)
  • Stay connected!  While we need to practice physical distance, we don’t need to isolate because isolation is a breeding ground for depression and anxiety. 

Call, Skype or Face Time a friend or family member.  Be creative: watch movies together and talk about it, have contests for the best decorated cake or do exercise together virtually.

  • Take up a new or long- forgotten hobby: paint, draw, knit, put pictures in albums or arrange them on your computer. Start a new book or puzzle. 
  • Finally, remember that you are not alone.  Reach out for support. Contact a therapist or coach. Now is not the time to soldier on and let anxiety or fear overwhelm you.  It really does take a village.  It could be that this time to shelter in place gives us time to strengthen family ties and support the marginalized or elderly in new and different ways. While I am in no way downplaying the real health and financial risks we are experiencing, we can grow stronger and build a stronger sense of community through this adversity. 

Wishing you health and wellbeing,


Marjorie Johnson, LCSW, PCC is a clinical social worker and executive coach. She is president of Ascend Consulting, Inc. Contact her at for virtual counseling or  coaching during this pandemic or to schedule future training for your organization. 

Free Resource!

Email Marjorie, at to Sign Up for her FREE Mindfulness Meditation in Uncertain Times Session on Zoom which will be Tuesday, March 31, from 12-1 EST.

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