You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience some fears about the Corona Virus or Covid-19. There are many reasons why anxiety concerning this disease is spreading throughout the world and the major cause of this is the lack of information concerning this illness.
In order to interrupt anxiety when a situation like this occurs one can apply a few appropriate steps to make living through this epidemic an easier journey.
We are all together during this time but in order to maintain peace of mind, you might find the following helpful:
1- Knowledge is Power- Listen or tune into reliable news sources and follow the advice of the CDC concerning steps for maintaining your health.
2- Boost Immune System- Eat well and steer clear of a junk food diet. Aim for lean proteins (meats, poultry, fish, dairy), fresh or frozen vegetables (frozen may be your best choice as they are not handled by anyone in the food market). Fresh or frozen fruits (frozen might your best choice again, as they are not left out or handled).
3- Exercise- Move off the anxious energy and continue moving in fresh air and sunshine, minus crowds of people. This will boost endorphins, raise Serotonin (the feel good chemical) in the brain and lift your spirits. It will also calm down an overactive mind. Leave the worried head inside when you go for a walk.
4- Logic and Common Sense- Being cautious is fine and especially in this case. I would suggest you apply even more caution during this time but do not believe that worry and fear will serve you well. Take moments during the day and remind yourself that you are doing all that is necessary and anxious worry serves little purpose.
5- Look Out for Others- During a difficult public health crisis, the elderly often require extra health. By offering a helping hand, you pull yourself out of your own head and this is therapeutic in itself.
6- Music, Hobbies and Calming Activities- Quiet your mind through anything that interests you and pulls you out of worried, panic mode. Lose yourself in things that pull you out of your own worried head. Lose yourself in a book you’ve wanted to read but never had the time to do so. Meditation is always helpful, along with yoga.
7- Make Smart Choices- Use your logical mind to choose activities that make sense to you. Smaller dinners with fewer friends or family, rental movies, postponements of events that may be risky may be the best choices at this time.
8- Self Soothe- Once you learn to reassure and calm yourself, the adrenaline rush begins to subside. We are what we think and being logical and careful at the same time is the best way to self soothe. If panics interrupt your life, due to the build-up of fearful thoughts, let go, while you tell yourself the truth of the situation. Facts matter and they are your strength against unnecessary anxiety and panic.
9- Keep a Cool Head- Focus on the here and now. This is the safest place of all. Yes, plan for any future events but remaining in the present moment takes the sting out of “what if” thoughts. In fact, change the “what ifs” to “so what.” Nothing is merely black or white in nature. There is always the gray area. Take a break from reading or watching news stories before bed. Everyone needs a break from over-thinking the situation, especially if getting a good night’s rest is your best defense against an over-anxious mind and body.
10- Communicate- Keep in touch with good friends and family. Even if you can’t be together, there is always online ways to connect, through chatting or face to face interaction. Making the best out of a difficult situation takes a little ingenuity but helps keep the stress chemicals from releasing and results in a calmer mind and body.
Most of all, remember that you are not alone. Nothing you are going through is different or unusual than anyone else. Discuss your feelings with friends and family and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how similar your feelings are to theirs. Time takes care of many of these events and learning to go through them the calmest way possible is to your advantage. Thinking with a cool head, eating correctly, resting when tired and keeping the proper perspective on the situation is your greatest weapon against the anxiety and stress in these times