COVID 19. Novel Corona Virus. Whatever you call it, it's a friking pain in the ass. And chances are, you're either at home trying to ride it out, or, you're "essential", and have to go into work. Either way, you're probably feeling uncomfortable in this new headspace. I totally get it, cuz I feel the same way. The good news it that even in these times of anxiety, there are always things you can do to take the edge off your stress.
The next group of text was borrowed from The Department of Veteran's Affairs, as I found they were a lot more effective at articulating solutions than I ever could; even if I was thinking them in my head. Mind you, it's not all inclusive, and you don't have t do all the recommends, But doing what you can helps. So here we go.....
"Dealing with stress reactions caused by the COVID-19 virus outbreak can improve your health, quality of life, and wellbeing. The following evidence-informed principles have been shown to be related to better outcomes in many adverse situations (2). There are key actions within each element that might be especially helpful for those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak (1, 3). It's not necessary to have all elements in place but implementing some of the following suggestions may help you deal with the stress caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Seek support from family, friends, mentors, clergy, and those who are in similar circumstances.
Be flexible and creative in accessing support via phone, email, text messaging, and video calls.
Talk to your supervisor about the possibility of working from home temporarily.
Cultivate Ways to be More Calm
Realize that it is understandable to feel anxious and worried about what may happen, especially when many aspects of life are being affected.
If you find that you are getting more stressed by watching the news, reduce your exposure, particularly prior to sleep.
While circumstances may be stressful and beyond your control, you can try to offset them with positive calming activities. Practice slow, steady breathing and muscle relaxation, as well as any other actions that are calming for you (yoga, exercise, music, keeping the mind occupied).
Preparing for a range of possible scenarios and having adequate supplies should sheltering at home be necessary can help you feel more calm. For instance, you can put together a kit with supplies to last you and your family 3 - 5 days. Include supplies such as:
Water and food, vitamins, fluids with electrolytes, and food preparation items such as a manual can opener.
Prescribed medical supplies or equipment, such as glucose or blood pressure monitoring equipment; thermometer; medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen; anti-diarrheal medication.
Hygiene supplies such as soap and water, alcohol-based hand wash, soap, tissues, toilet paper, and disposable diapers if necessary.
General supplies such as a flashlight and batteries, portable radio, and garbage bags.
Improve Your Sense of Control and Ability to Endure
Accept circumstances that cannot be changed and focus on what you can alter.
Modify your definition of a "good day" to meet the current reality of the situation.
Problem-solve and set achievable goals within the new circumstances in your life.
Evaluate the absolute risk of contracting the virus and recognize the benefits of accepting a certain level of risk in order to maintain as much of your normal routine as possible.
Those who have been faced with life-threatening situations recommended the following strategies:
Quickly recognize, acknowledge, and accept the reality of the situation.
Make a plan for dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed or overly distressed. Preparation can make you feel more in control if these feelings arise and help you move through them quickly.
Combat unhelpful emotions by using distraction or staying busy—both mentally and physically.
Avoid impulsive behavior.
Increase positive coping behaviors that have worked in the past.
Shift negative self-statements to statements that allow you to function with less distress. Try changing "this is a terrible time" to "this is a terrible time, but I can get through this."
Rather than getting discouraged, focus on what you can accomplish or control.
Seek out mentoring or information to improve your ability to make decisions and take actions when necessary.
Try to engage in the situation as a challenge to be met, which can increase your ability to act both creatively and decisively (1).
Consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.
Look for opportunities to practice being more patient or kind with yourself, or to see the situation as an opportunity to learn or build strengths.
Celebrate successes, find things to be grateful about, and take satisfaction in completing tasks, even small ones.
Give yourself small breaks from the stress of the situation by doing something you enjoy.
Draw upon your spirituality, those who inspire you, or your personal beliefs and values."
I know this was a lot to digest, but honestly, I've found this to be very helpful to me in times where I felt lost and needed to decompress. Here's hoping that whatever your situation, you can find some sense of peace during this uncertain, but hopeful time.
Remember, heal the mind, and the body will follow.