You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience some fears about the Corona Virus or Covid-19. There are many reasons why the fear of this disease is spreading around the world and the main reason is the lack of information about this disease.
To interrupt the fear when a situation like this arises, one can take a few proper steps to make living through this epidemic an easier journey.
We’re all together at this time, but to maintain peace of mind you may find the following helpful:
1- Knowledge is Power- Listen to or tune in to reliable news sources and follow the CDC’s advice on steps to take to stay healthy.
2- Strengthening of the immune system- Eat well and avoid a junk food diet. Aim for lean proteins (meat, poultry, fish, dairy), fresh or frozen vegetables (frozen might be the best choice as they are not handled by anyone in the grocery market). Fresh or frozen fruits (Frozen might be the best choice again as not left out or treated).
3- Exercise- Get rid of the anxious energy and keep moving in the fresh air and sunshine, without the crowds. This will boost endorphins, increase serotonin (the feel-good chemical) in the brain, and elevate your mood. It will also calm an overactive mind. Keep your worried head indoors when you go for a walk.
4- Logic and common sense- Caution is in order and especially so in this case. I would suggest that you exercise even more caution during this time, but don’t think that worry and anxiety will serve you well. Take a moment during the day and remind yourself that you are doing whatever it takes and there is little point in worrying.
5- Pay attention to others- During a difficult public health crisis, older people often need additional health care. By offering a helping hand, you pull yourself out of your own head, and that in itself is therapeutic.
6- Music, Hobbies, and Calming Activities- Calm your mind with anything that interests you and gets you out of worried panic mode. Lose yourself in things that pull you out of your own worried mind. Lose yourself in a book you’ve always wanted to read but never had the time. Meditation is always helpful along with yoga.
7- Make wise decisions- Use your logical mind to choose activities that make sense to you. Smaller dinners with fewer friends or family, film rentals, postponements of events that can be risky may be your best bets right now.
8- Self Calming- Once you learn how to calm and soothe 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 put ourselves at ease. When panic interrupts your life because of fearful thoughts building up, let go as you tell yourself the truth about the situation. Facts count and they are your strength against unnecessary fear and panic.
9- Keep a cool head- Concentrate on the here and now. This is the safest place of all. Yes, plan for future events, but staying in the present moment takes the sting out of “what ifs.” Actually change the “what if” to “so what”. Nothing in nature is just black or white. There’s always the gray area. Take a break from reading or watching the news before bed. Everyone needs a break from overthinking the situation, especially when a good night’s sleep is the 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 are always online ways to connect, through chat or face-to-face interaction. Making the best of a difficult situation takes a little ingenuity, but it helps prevent the release of stress chemicals and results in a calmer mind and body.
Above all, remember that you are not alone. Nothing you go through is different or unusual than anyone else. Discuss your feelings with friends and family and you will be pleasantly surprised at how similar your feelings are to yours. Time takes care of many of these events, and it will be to your advantage if you learn to weather them as calmly as possible. Thinking with a cool head, eating right, resting when you are tired and keeping the right perspective on the situation are the best weapons against anxiety and stress during these times
Thanks to Dr. R.E. Freedman