Red Cross Sint Maarten

Coping with COVID-19

Red Cross Sint Maarten is here to bring you some tips and ideas on how to keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home.

  1. Stay informed
  2. Watch your health
  3. Cope by activities
  4. Create a daily routine
  5. Caring for children during a crisis

4. Create a daily routine

Take time to relax

Find the time to relax throughout the day, this can help with difficult emotions and worries and improve your well-being. Mindful activities can help such as meditation, clowning with your children, listening to relaxing soothing videos on YouTube that help you focus on your breathing and to relax. Or take a breather trough out the day and relax yourself for a moment by trying one of our word puzzles online.

Limit multitasking! Right now, it can feel like trying to do ten things at once is the only way anything will get done. For example, trying to fold laundry, make dinner and watch your child all while on a work call. Multitasking rarely works and can increase stress. focus on one thing at a time. How about scheduling work calls during naptime, allowing kids to have a little extra screen time while you make dinner, or asking older children to help fold the laundry while you finish cleaning up. Or take a break to relax while giving the kids an activity to keep them occupied. You can give them one of our coloring sheets for instance to keep them busy as you take a break.

Moreover, planning in time to relax is very important, as not doing so can lead to added up stress as a result. Whereas stress especially during the current pandemic can cause you harm such as:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

We don’t want any of these things worsening our health’s and affecting our daily lives now do we? Therefore, it’s important to not overwork yourself and to find time to relax your mind and your body.

Create a daily routine / Staying active

Life is changing and whether you are staying at home or social distancing, you are likely to see some disruption to your normal routine. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines and set yourself goals.

One of the first issues with working from home is making a home office. I would not advise you to put your office in your bedroom. If your space won’t allow that, packing up the day’s workstation — like you would pack up your stuff at the end of the day at the office — can help your brain distinguish between work time and off time.

I would suggest setting up a dedicated workspace, even if it’s just your kitchen table. Stay focused and work for about 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break to get water, stretch, or take a walk down in your yard.

You might find it helpful to write a plan for your day or your week. If you are working from home, try to get up and get ready in the same way as normal, keep to the same hours you would normally work and stick to the same sleeping schedule.

With kids being out of school, routines are basically thrown out the window. But you can keep your family’s morning, mealtime, and bedtime routines consistent. This will give your kids a sense of consistency, and it will help you too. Try for instance a daily scheduling app that can help you keep to your daily schedule on track.

Facebook Live: Create a daily routine

In today's session, Ernika van Putten will talk to you about taking the time to relax, creating a daily routine/staying active, setting achievable goals and getting enough rest.

Posted by Red Cross Sint Maarten on Friday, May 8, 2020

Setting achievable goals

The current coronavirus has many of us re-evaluating our priorities. Whether you are still working or unemployed during this pandemic, take the opportunity to evaluate your situation and how you can use this time wisely. Setting goals can help you stay focused and work toward the things in life you want to achieve. Creating SMART goals is a great way to develop a plan and stick with it. SMART goals give you a clear direction on what you want to achieve, and to help you plan out when you could achieve these goals.

For instance, many will be receiving a stimulus check in the next few weeks. This is a great opportunity to create a SMART goal and decide what you want to do with the money. Some possibilities are putting the money in savings, paying bills, or splitting it up for necessities. Make sure that you write down your goal and be sure that it is a SMART goal.

Remember, a SMART goal can be used for any type of goal in life, not just a financial goal. Now is a great time to make positive changes in your life by creating SMART goals to give you a plan to strive toward. Whether it is changing your financial situation, improving your eating and exercise habits, or starting a new hobby, such as planting a garden, learning how to play a new instrument, or just spending more quality time with your family, start by making a plan and make sure it is SMART.

If you need more information on how to create SMART goals by using the SMART tool you can easily check online for an overview of an SMART diagram to apply it to assist you in creating an SMART plan overview of your goals.

Getting enough rest

During these times it may be difficult some days in keeping up with a regular sleeping routine. Whereas, Sleep is very important and is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise! Inadequate sleep can induce and/or make our feelings of anxiety and stress seem worse. We may not be able to think clearly or make sensible decisions, making it difficult to concentrate. We can become upset, angry and irritable more easily. This can all have negative effects on our relationships with family, friends and in our workplaces.

Inadequate sleep can also affect our physical health. When we do not get enough sleep or if our sleep is disrupted this can negatively impact our diet, physical activity levels and even blood pressure levels. Importantly, sleep helps us fight off infection. When sleep is of poor quality it can impair our immune response. In addition, poor sleep might result in ‘flare-ups’ of other chronic illness/diseases.

To help keep your sleeping habits in check plan out your day and your sleeping hours, if necessary, also take naps during the day. If you need assistance with making a sleeping plan you can download and use a sleeping app that can assist you in planning in sleep and keeping track of your daily sleeping hours.