Coping with Covid 19

Cope with Change COVID

The content that appears in this article was written by Jennifer Scott. We are quite grateful for her to serve as a guest contributor to our blog. If you would like to be a guest contributor to our blog, please email David Moore at info@paequality.com for details. 

How to Cope With Change During COVID-19

As humans evolve as a species, we are inclined to favor stability and consistency. On a primitive level, we are happiest when we can easily predict the world around us. This means that any change can be a major source of anxiety; but when that change is something as world-rocking and stress-inducing as a pandemic, that anxiety can quickly become overwhelming.

 

Moments like these require resources, community, and support. The Pennsylvania Equality Project hopes to be one such resource for the LGBTQ+ community. To that end, here’s a look at how to cope with the changes that the pandemic has brought to our lives:

 

Career Change and Job Loss

 

The pandemic has upended nearly every industry in some form or another, and people from all walks of life have felt the repercussions. For some, this has meant fewer hours, or even a complete loss of income. Searching for a job in the midst of a pandemic can be a serious challenge; however, there are tools you can use to make things easier.

 

For example, starting a freelance career can help you make some extra money while expanding your skills and keeping your resume fresh. This could also be a great opportunity to consider a career change. If your previous career wasn’t satisfying or fulfilling, you might want to consider something like teaching or nursing. Going back to school during a pandemic might not appeal to you at first, but remember: There are plenty of online programs that allow you to learn virtually, from the safety of your own home. For example, if you’ve been inspired to join the ranks of healthcare heroes as a nurse, you can easily pursue a new career while still keeping your day job. Whether you need a master’s or a bachelor’s, there’s a degree program that can help you specialize and become a healthcare professional.

 

You may also be struggling with the transition to remote work. Although working from home is great for many, it’s not a one-size-fits-all work solution. If you’re not thriving, take some time to make sure you’re using good remote work habits like getting dressed each day and having a consistent morning routine.

 

Loss of Community

 

Since the start of the pandemic, loneliness has reached unprecedented levels. Social gatherings have lost their simplicity and spontaneity, and even the most low-risk in-person gatherings can come with a miasma of guilt. In the balancing game between isolation and sickness, it can feel like there are no favorable outcomes.

 

That’s why it’s so important, now more than ever, to find a community willing to overcome these challenges and provide support. For example, you might consider talking to friends about forming a bubble. Be sure to have a frank conversation about rules and expectations in order to ensure everyone’s on the same page when bubbling up.

 

If you’re spiritually or religiously inclined, now could be a good time to seek out some sort of faith-based community. Many people in the LGBTQ+ community have a challenging history with religion, but would like to find an outlet for their spiritual needs where they are welcomed and accepted without reservation. If you’re in this position, take a look at our list of affirming churches. Many offer virtual services and other socially-distanced ways to find support during the pandemic.

 

Slowing Down

 

Finally, the pandemic has changed the ways we think about our plans and the future. For example, if you had been thinking about taking a long trip somewhere or moving cross-country, you might have put that plan on hold. However, there are many positives to plans being put on hold – even if it wouldn’t have been your first choice.

 

This may give you the time you need to fully think the idea out. After some time you might refine your idea, come up with something better, or come to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right call to begin with. If the plan was time-sensitive, it’s easy to feel robbed – give yourself room to grieve, and then practice acceptance. This pandemic has taken many things from us too intangible to properly name – but that doesn’t make them any less real, or their loss any less painful.

 

Although we’re still figuring out the best techniques for vaccine distribution, the finish line is in sight. Soon, this will be behind us and we can move forward into our post-pandemic lives. Give yourself grace as you navigate life in the meantime: You deserve it.

 

Are you a member of the LGBTQ+ community in need of support? Check out our resources page.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels