Stressed about this pandemic? Can’t tear yourself away from the news, or worrying about whether you should stock up on toilet paper?
It’s totally normal to feel stressed and even overwhelmed by all of the negative news coming out about the covert 19 flu epidemic.
Some tips to help you get through these days:
Focus on what you can control. When all we hear are things out of our own control, we feel helpless. Stick to your typical daily work schedule, and resist the urge to change it based on fear or worry. If events or plans are cancelled, then have a backup plan for your time. Get that walk in the park in--that one that you've been putting off for way too long. Get caught up on your favorite book, or that podcast or show that everyone's talking about.
Connect with friends and family online. Virtually everyone has video capabilities on their phone or tablet these days. Get connected to wifi and video chat with your grandma, your aunt, your college roommate. This is the time to connect up and remind us all to take these relationships for granted!
Get outside. Look up, look at the trees, the stars, the clouds. Look down, notice the earth below. Nature can be a great reminder and a way to ground ourselves--or bring us back to the moment. In other words--
Practice Mindfulness! The thing about worry and fear is that it takes us out of the moment. Try this technique to keep your thoughts in the moment, or try some diaphragmatic breathing. Get your thoughts back to what you can control--which is your reaction to the here and now. When we rile ourselves up, it will only make getting through a stressful time worse!
Finally, get grateful. Try it--what are 3 things you are grateful for, right now? Your family? Your health? Your resiliency? Your faith? Your friends? Your willingness to try new things? Your furbaby? Your artistic talent? Your persistence? Your smarts? Your home? Your job? Gratitude brings us back to what matters, a greater perspective on things, and also improves our mood!
Though we may have fear and worry, and though we need to take precautions and recommendations for our health seriously, we also need to be diligent for our mental health. You can get through this time with resilience if you make a few steps to keep focused on what matters--our mind, body and spirit.
In health and wellness,
PS. Reach out to your healthcare provider if you feel more anxious than usual for more than 2 weeks, have trouble sleeping, eating, or doing other everyday activities; have persistent intrusive thoughts or compulsive, repetitive behaviors you feel you can't control or stop. Get the help you need if your symptoms are getting the best of you!