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These are some of my tips for surviving a pandemic. It’s not only the virus itself we all need to protect ourselves from. We can all do that by following the advice from various governments and health organisations.

There is an unseen side to the pandemic that is just as insidious. That, my friends, is mental health. It’s natural to be anxious in these troubling times but I suggest there are ways to adopt coping mechanisms in order to avoid sinking into a well of depression or other serious mental health problems. I do not say that flippantly. In the past, I’ve been there myself.

For me, I have found restricting my access to social media and such apps as the BBC News, have all helped me focus on positives. Those positives include my wife and young boys. We are effectively cooped up in our home as the community quarantine has been enforced here in the Philippines. Indeed, only my wife is permitted to go out as all seniors and students are subject to a strict 24-hour curfew unless they need to see a doctor or visit a pharmacy. To date, sanity rules with all pulling in the same direction.

I also continue writing from home. I do have a number of works-in-progress (WIPs), and they are coming on nicely. My late evenings are spent watching Netflix. That takes me mind off all the troubles in the world.

I also have a number of books in my TBR pile (To Be Read) on my Kindle app. I will fall back on those after I reach a certain point with writing my own books.

I know many who read my blog posts are also readers. Some are voracious readers. Reading books is a wonderful escape mechanism transporting the reader to worlds unknown whether in a fantasy or ‘real’ worlds; in the present, past or future. My own ebooks have seen a healthy uptick in both sales and Kindle page reads lately. I attribute that only partly to the pandemic. I have also reduced the price of my bestselling book for the foreseeable future as a gesture to those looking for a good read whilst quarantined.

There are many sources of free and bargain ebooks and here are two of the best. First up is The Fussy Librarian. I recommend this site for a number of reasons, one of which is the ability to filter types of books and frequency of emails.

The second is ReadFreely. Both sites are free to join as a reader.

My final tip of tips for surviving a pandemic is do not underestimate the power of prayer. I don’t ask if there is a God. I know there is.

O Christ Jesus,

when all is darkness
and I feel my weakness and helplessness,
give me a sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help me to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry me,
for, living close to You,
I shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.

Amen.

By Saint Ignatius of Loyola

 

 

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