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How to Find Hope During the Pandemic Instead of Losing It

This year has been a struggle for us all, but we can have hope during the pandemic. It isn’t just an ideal but something that can be reality.

Hope During the Pandemic

I know having hope during the pandemic seems like an oxymoron. When so much is going wrong around us, how do we maintain a sense of peace, hope, and positivity? We’ve all been through it this year. With the pandemic falling on an election year, it has been that much worse for many.

There is so much at risk. It makes sense that we all want to curl up in bed and hibernate until there is a working and free vaccine. But, you know just as well as I do that it isn’t a possibility. We have to keep going. We have to live our lives.

Yes, we’ll live in fear. We’ll have uncertainties, but as long as we wear masks, social distance, and do our part in keeping our world as safe and healthy as possible, we can have hope during the pandemic.

[Read: How to handle pandemic stress and not take it out on those you love]

It feels wrong to have hope during the pandemic

Whether you’ve been hit directly or indirectly by COVID-19, this year has sucked; plain and simple. Even with the good news that comes here and there, it can be hard to let the good things take charge when so much is happening.

I know that asking you to have hope is a lot harder than it sounds. People are losing their jobs, businesses, healthcare, and lives. Even when you want to have hope during the pandemic, it can leave you feeling guilty. I have multiple friends who got engaged last year and put off their weddings until next year out of respect for everyone else.

They felt weird celebrating when so many were suffering. And that makes sense. There is so much happening ,and there is no end in sight. We are still in the midst of the coronavirus, and it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

[Read: How to stop having negative thoughts that drag you down]

All this makes it even harder to have any hope. But without hope, what do we have? We have loss, pain, anger, impatience, and more. If we live in a world where these are the only things it is appropriate to feel, how are we going to come back from this? How are we going to find a new normal? How will we recover when the pandemic ends?

Hope is like faith. Even though there is no proof yet that the pandemic will end, hope is the belief that it will. Hope is the idea that we are looking towards better days.

Hope is what gets us from one day to the next until COVID is gone and we have other things to focus on.

[Read: How to calm your mind and make peace a state of mind]

Having hope during the pandemic

Having hope during the pandemic can feel like a distraction. The way baking banana bread and bingeing every show on Netflix at the start got us through the lockdown. But, we are nearly a year into the coronavirus outbreak and, without hope, things will only get worse.

I know hope can’t change the facts, but it can help us get through the bad days so we can enjoy the good days. And we deserve to enjoy those good days no matter how rare they are.

Those we’ve lost this year to the pandemic, police brutality, and any other trauma would want the rest of us to live our lives to the best of our ability. They would want us to take precautions and appreciate the lives we’ve been given.

We need to be grateful for our lives, and all lives, so that we enjoy the time we have.

But, how? How do you have hope during the pandemic? Well, it’s about the small things.

[Read: When life isn’t all puppies and rainbows, what are you thankful for?]

We may not be able to travel, have parties, or celebrate things as we once did, but the small moments of joy we get deserve to be had and recognized.

#1 Smile. I know this is cheesy, but smiling has been proven to boost your mood. Smile more. Even when wearing a mask, smiling releases feel-good hormones. Smiling reminds you that you’re happy. You have a lot to be happy for even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

#2 Be grateful. This can be hard in such a difficult time, but take time each day to be actively grateful for the things in your life. Everything from loved ones, to a home, food, and access to internet, and even running water is something to be appreciative of. [Read: 20 things to be grateful for that you don’t appreciate enough in life]

#3 Breathe in the fresh air. Whether you have a yard, a patio, a nearby park, or an open window, do some mindful breathing. This isn’t everyone’s thing, but just taking some deep breaths with fresh air can fill you with a sense of freshness.

#4 Learn a new skill. Take this time away from the things you can’t do to focus on the things you can. Learn how to bake. Try a new recipe. There are tons of how-to videos online. You can learn anything from sewing to how to change a tire and so much more.

Although I’m all for vegging out in front of the TV, making use of this time to do something you’ve always wanted to will inspire you to keep trying new things.

#5 Enjoy the company of those you can be with. Whether it is your pet, your roommate, or your family, try not to dread their company. Even hanging out with a neighbor on opposite sides of the fence can bring the joy of companionship during these times.

Try to make the most of your time together. Play games, repaint, or just catch up.

#6 Encourage others to do their part. It can be hard to encourage people to do more when they are also going through a hard time but when we give back we all get back. Not only should we all encourage others to wear a mask and social distance but share helpful ideas. Create a community food bank. Donate to organizations that are helping victims of COVID-19 and their families. Give back to hospital workers. [Read: How to spread the love to those who really need it]

#7 Adopt or foster an animal. This is one of the best ways to help right now and you’ll get more out of it than anyone. With many people at home right now, fostering a pet temporarily or adopting will not just fill you with joy but remind you what your time can do. You can save a life.

#8 Make the most of technology. I know it hurts not to be able to hug loved ones but we do have something those before us during pandemics didn’t have. We have access to each other instantly. We can video chat, call, text, and share memes in milliseconds.

Use those methods and stay close to those you may not be able to see in person. It may not be the best but it is something.

#9 Send care packages.  When this first started, I sent a care package to my boyfriend, my cousin, and anyone else I missed like crazy but couldn’t see in person. You can send them things they need or small gifts, their favorite candy, or photos.

Be creative. Sending packages to someone of things you picked for them will put a smile on their face.

#10 Thank front line workers. Care packages are not just for loved ones but also front line workers. Thank your mail carriers, grocery store employees, nurses, doctors, EMTs, and all others that are doing so much right now. They are protecting the rest of us and are exhausted.

Send gift cards to small businesses to the nurses at your local hospital. Reach out to your kids’ teachers because they are struggling. Send pizza to someone you know worked a long shift and doesn’t have time to cook.

Doing good for others does good for you.

#11 Escape into entertainment. I’m sure you’ve already done this, but it can’t hurt to remind you. Escape into another world. Watch Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or a new series. Indulge in a world where the pandemic doesn’t exist.

I personally recommend Schitt’s Creek if you want to watch a feel-good show that will leave you laughing and crying happy tears. [Read: The best inspirational movies to motivate you when you need it most]

#12 Be creative with your time. There are tons of ideas online, but the options are endless. Make a dance zone on the sidewalk in front of your house so everyone who walks by breaks into dance. Plant a garden. Create an outdoor space to enjoy. Do at-home workouts with neighbors outside.

#13 Help those in need. Donate to good causes. Whether you can spend money, time, or even old clothes and canned goods, it makes a difference. The people who were struggling before the pandemic are still struggling now, even more so. If you can help, do it. It will remind you of all you’re capable of.

#14 Get offline. Although the internet can bring us close together even when we are countries apart, be sure to put down your phone every once in awhile. As good as the internet can be, it can also be a toxic place filled with hate and misinformation.

Too much time online can trigger negative feelings, especially right now. [Read: The social media detox you need to feel better]

#15 Make connections. I’m sure you’ve read the stories about someone calling the wrong number and chatting with the other person for an hour and becoming friends or children becoming penpals. These things are not just cute clickbait. These are things you can do.

Create friendships online, write letters to old friends, and get to know your mail carrier or UPS driver! These are all ways to encourage personal connection safely.

#16 Find your faith. Whether you’re religious or not finding your faith and practicing, it can help so much. Believing there is a reason for everything and praying for things to get better helps you mentally.

#17 Laugh. Be sure to laugh. Take time to laugh every day. Even in the darkest time, laughter can be the light that is missing. Just a simple giggle can boost your mood immensely and help you realize how much there still is to be happy about. [Read: How to make someone laugh and lighten their burden]

#18 Go all out. Make celebrations big. Even though you can’t have people over, decorate. Put up your Christmas tree, dress up for a virtual holiday party, and put extra pizzaz into decorating your house. These things improve your mood and encourage positivity.

#19 Wear a mask. WEAR A MASK!

[Read: How to stay connected while social distancing and fighting loneliness]

Having hope during the pandemic can seem like a faraway idea, but it is possible.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...