During these uncertain times of the Corona Virus outbreak, it is easy, if not even the “new normal” to feel overwhelmed and worried for the health and safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and for the entire planet. The information from the CDC and media outlets is continuously updated, and then changes constantly and quickly. The preventative and currently increasing steps of quarantine and social distancing that are put in to place as the number of illness cases currently climbs, along with the compounded fears we have from job loss and to the local and world-wide economies, medical preparedness and so much more, can make us feel helpless and even hopeless. Our lack of control over situations that we once felt we had control over can make us feel that we have no power over anything at all during this pandemic. This is not the case!
Here are proactive 10 ways that we can hold onto our sense of power, control and well-being during this time.
1. Choose Dependable Sources for Your Information.
There are so many media outlets covering the COVID-19 outbreak that offer commentary and speculation that can easily lead to an unhealthy amount of emotional overload. This can be especially overwhelming to children who are coping with this change to their lives as well. It can be helpful to limit your information sources to those such as the CDC, WHO, The National Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and any local health agency updates within your community. Which brings us to our second point:
2. Think Globally & Act Locally.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed at the unknown potential on a large scale from a pandemic. But there are things we can do on a local level, in our own neighborhoods and even in our own homes, that collectively can compound to help the planet during this time and onwards. Is there an elderly or sick neighbor that you could do some grocery shopping for? Would someone benefit emotionally from a past-due phone call from you? Could the additional time at home be spent in ways that can benefit the entire family- a game night, establishing a home exercise or yoga routine, reading a book together- those simple things that can get so easily overlooked in the hustle and bustle of our ordinary lives. Envision the dynamic shift in our lives, the lives of those we know and care about, and lives throughout the world if we use this time at home and in our neighborhoods constructively towards care and good!
3. Learn or Do Something New.
Now might be a great time to learn a new skill, start writing that novel you’ve never had the time to get to, or finally bring out the painting set you received 4 birthdays ago. There are many affordable online training courses, free how to videos on YouTube, and so many more opportunities to learn and do something new.
4. Remain Social, But Safe.
Platforms such as Google Hangouts, Facetime & Skype provide the opportunity to video chat with friends and family. The author knows of a book club of 10 people who got together on Google hangouts instead of in person so that they could still meet, socialize, discuss the book and still “be together” for an evening.
5. Be Here, Now.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt. While we have every right and need to be concerned and extra cautious during this time, it’s important to step back from constant, chronic worry and take time for some self-care. A hot bath, some calming meditation, listening to favorite music- a conscious effort of attention paid to just how wonderful the things we love, but can at times take for granted, truly are.
6. Eat and Drink Well.
By this we mean quite the opposite of over-indulging. As so many of us are home now, it can be tempting to mindlessly eat or over-drink with the resultant detrimental effects to our health and well-being. Whenever possible, think quality over quantity!
As exercising at the gym routines are now disrupted, it is so important to establish and/or maintain a routine at home to remain active and fit if you can. The benefits of exercise are more than looking good; it plays a large part in feeling well and thinking clearly, too.
8. Seek Help If You Feel You Need It.
Mental Wellness Centers like American Behavioral Clinics, are maintaining their services during this time by offering telehealth services that include phone and video counseling and even prescription services in place of meeting in person. Current clients as well as those who feel the need to seek help are encouraged to reach out to discuss these options.
9. Clean Living- Do What You Can Do.
Take the time and effort to really wash well and take the necessary wellness precautions regarding washing & social distancing as prescribed by the CDC.
10. It’s OK to Go Outside.
Keep a safe distance from others, but getting outdoors for fresh air and daylight is so important for one’s well-being and to keep from feeling “caged up” during this time.