How are you choosing to respond to COVID-19?
What a difference a week makes! This time last week people were still gathering in restaurants and public spaces. This week we have all learned the impact of our new vocabulary: work-from-home, shelter-in-place, social distancing and homeschooling. Most of us have new appreciation for some simple items we took for granted on our shopping lists last month: eggs, meat, toilet paper and Pringles. The U.S. is now reporting over 21,000 positive cases of COVID. It will be higher by the time you read this blog.
As we have learned to adapt, adjust and limit ourselves many Americans have also found themselves experiencing anxiety. Fear does not have to rule right now even though this virus appears unstoppable at the moment. In this blog series we are going to look at three ways you can proactively protect yourself—all of you: body, mind, and spirit.
But first, let’s look at three questions we can ask ourselves as we choose our response to COVID-19.
1. Facts or Fear?
2. Help or Hoard?
3. Inspire or Isolate?
Facts or Fear? It is easy to feel a bit panic stricken when you see empty grocery store shelves all over town. But how do you best combat the fear? By sticking to the known facts and staying away from negative conjecture or asking the fruitless question, “What if?” Find a source you trust for information and allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to catch the update for the day. Then tune out! Two minutes of negative news can affect your happiness for up to 8 hours!
Help or Hoard? In times like these, it is easy to become myopic—and not just with household supplies and food. See where you can lend a hand. “Look for the helpers,” said Mr. Rogers. If you can’t find a helper, then become one. Send a cheerful text to someone. Pick up the phone and dial it! Someone would love to connect and have a conversation. Write a personal handwritten note to someone. Be creative and find ways to share the talents and availability you DO have to make a difference in someone else’s day.
Inspire or Isolate? Depending on where you are in the country, you may now be familiar with “shelter-in-place” or curfews. While following all the CDC sanctioned social distancing guidelines, look at your world. Are you taking the time to look for beauty in the day? The sun still rises and sets. Trees and flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. Spring is here! Don’t isolate yourself so much that you can’t see the beauty right outside your window. Find something inspiring and really notice it!
This virus is temporary. Our current limitations will eventually be lifted and life will go back to something more recognizable and familiar. In the meantime, do not let anxiety overcome you. Coming soon we will discuss ways to keep anxiety at bay by taking care of you—body, mind, and soul.