Wow…..to say that things are a little crazy right now just might be the biggest understatement of the year! With the reality of the coronavirus looming all around, it’s seems we have all been impacted on some level. Whether you are facing health challenges, fiscal concerns or wondering whether or not you have enough toilet paper ;), fear and anxiety seem to be at an all time high. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen anything quite this.
Although it’s only natural to feel afraid and anxious during times like this, letting yourself be consumed by these emotions can have far reaching consequences on your physical as well as your emotional health. Knowing how to manage this level of fear can be your best defense right now.
Fear is a powerful emotion. If you are being chased by a tiger, fear is critical to your survival. But if fear is a part of your daily existence, it can lower your immunity as well as hinder your ability to think clearly. Just as your body becomes tight and constricted from a perceived threat, the same thing happens with your mind. As a result, you may become more reactive when it comes to making decisions and less likely to see the bigger picture. Not a good combination at a time like this!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, start by taking a deep breath. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and then be willing to let it go. I know this may be easier said than done, but one way to approach this is to set a time limit. For example, give yourself one minute to think about what you are feeling and then at the end of the minute, move on. Giving your thoughts less power can help you feel as if YOU are in control and not the other way around. Then you are better able to make decisions based on reason instead of fear.
Practicing kindness and compassion towards one another can be one of the best ways to counteract your fears. Each day think of someone you have not talked to recently and check on them to see how they are doing. If you are able, offer to help a neighbor or friend in need. Perhaps you can pick up some groceries for them the next time you are at the store. With schools being closed, this is a great opportunity to spend more time at home with your family. Cook a meal together or watch an uplifting movie. We may be experiencing social distancing but that does not mean we have to stop caring about each other.
In addition to taking care of others, it’s so important to do what you can to keep your immune system strong. You know what they say…..put YOUR oxygen mask on first! Wash your hands often and try not to touch your face! Be sure to get plenty of rest. If you are working from home now, try to sneak in a nap during the day. Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies…..there is no shortage of these in the stores. Drink lots of warm liquids. Staying hydrated keeps your body running smoothly. And don’t forget to keep moving! Resist the urge to sit on the couch and binge watch TV shows. Dance, stretch, practice yoga…..do whatever you can to keep your body moving.
I know it may be hard to grasp this right now but know that “this too shall pass.” Life is different so we must adjust to our “new normal.” I believe the coronavirus has given us an opportunity to come together as a community and to remind each other that no one is alone in this. This is our time to expand instead of contract so let’s rise above the chaos and the fear and be the change we so desperately need right now.
BE BRAVE, BE KIND, BE AWESOME