Adapting to the Pandemic: 23 Healthy Coping Mechanisms

1. Garden - Gardening is an excellent way to ground yourself, grow some healthy food, and get fresh air and sunshine.
2. Walk - This is a simple way to unwind, connect with neighbors, and get the chi flow going. No driving, monthly memberships, or special gear required, just walk out the door!
3. Hike - Not only is it nice to get out in the woods for a little shinrin-yoku, it's also nice to make a day of it, to get out of town and have a mini-vacation. Bonus points if the hike includes overnight camping or a dip in a purifying waterfall.
4. Chill Outside - A lot of people have recently gotten into bird watching. Or, have a beer on the porch with your neighbor! Lay on the grass for a spell! Wade in a mountain stream! Take a nap in a hammock!
5. Do Some Stretching - This is good for both body and soul, freeing stuck energy wherever it is blocked.
6. Rest More - It's okay if you don't feel like being productive or want to just lay down for a while. There is a constant baseline of generalized stress right now that can be very draining so we all need more rest, sleep, and naps.
7. Eat Well - When we eat better we feel better both physically and emotionally. Plus it makes us more resilient to stress and illness. Support your local farmers' market for the freshest food!
8. Clean and Clear - The general mood is so subdued, restrained, and stagnant right now. Doing things like dusting and clearing out the closets in our homes helps us to simplify and keep the energy flowing.

Healthy Coling Skills

9. Home Projects - In times of stress and anxiety, having a project to focus on can help us get out of our heads. If it's been on the list for a while, or if we're not officially working, it can also help us feel more productive.
10. Giving to Others - Some of my patients have been giving away their excess produce to neighbors or volunteering for organizations like Meals on Wheels. When we are feeling down it always helps to help others.
11. Plan a Trip - Even if we can't travel right now it can be helpful to plan a trip for the future. Watching travel shows is another form of healthy escapism that you can do right from your living room.
12. Gratitude - Many of my patients have expressed their gratitude that we get to live this pandemic out in our lovely little town. People are especially grateful that they can get out to the woods.
13. Media Blackout - It's okay to stop watching the news for a while or to take a break from scrolling the internet. The media definitely has a negative focus and it's totally okay to take a break.
14. Set Boundaries - It's okay to say no to doing more right now, whether it be for work, family, or friends. It is absolutely essential right now that we guard our energy and don't get run down or exhausted.
15. Socialize - It is still possible to connect with our family and friends. People are talking on the phone more, meeting for meals outdoors, having a chat on the porch, or going canoeing with their friends.
16. Express Your Feelings - Holding our emotions in can interfere with the flow of chi. Over time the chi can become blocked and constrained, leading to low energy and depression. One way to counter this is to express your emotions through things like talking, writing, and singing.
17. Establish a Routine - The universe runs on rhythms. Things run more smoothly and we feel more in sync when we have regular schedules, too. This is especially true for our sleeping, eating, work, and exercise habits.
18. Take a Day Off - Even if you are not working right now it's important to take a day or two off every week. You still need time for rest and relaxation.
19. Music - Music is so beautiful; just listening to it can lift our mood and help us process emotions. Some of my patients who play instruments have continued to create by collaborating on digital recordings or doing live streaming shows.
20. Read - Like watching travel shows, reading is another healthy form of escapism. My patients have been reporting that they are reading more fiction these days and I can see why.
21. Art - Are you a creative person? Some of my patients have been intentionally reserving time for arts and crafts, ensuring that they can express themselves in this way.
22. Write - Whether you write poems, blog, or journal, writing is an excellent way to clarify and process emotions and thoughts.
23. Meditation - Meditation is both restorative and calming. Many of my patients have recently started meditating for the first time or have recommitted to a practice they used to have.
"My health was in a horrible place because of eczema and nerve pain. My distrust of western doctors was reinforced by a horrible ER visit that provided 0 answers and a terrible interaction with the nurses. That visit drove me to look for alternatives; I ended up at Dr. Hyton's office. Her holistic recommendation included herbs, dietary changes, and a series of visits for acupuncture sessions. I am a version of myself I never thought I would see again. So grateful for this practice." ~J. Sclotter
West Asheville Acupuncture
Monday to Thursday 9:30 to 6:00
Friday 9:30 to 12:00
26 Fairfax Avenue, 28806
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All content copyright Dr. Nancy Hyton