“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
We live in uncertain times. Our world has been put into a sudden shock because of the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping almost every continent on this planet. Regular life already brings with it stress and anxiety, but then you bring in this kind of pandemic and everything negative in our heads gets exponentially heightened.
Negative emotions, especially fear gets the better of us during times of a crisis. It is normal to feel a certain level of anxiety due to world events as they are affecting our daily life. Our movements have been curtailed to contain the epidemic, our social lives have also been put on hold due to the World Health Organization and Local Government bodies mandating ‘Social Distancing’. Streets are empty, usual life force as we know it, is non existent. This is a LOT for us to suddenly digest. Then add previous/underlying mental health issues to this mix, its a bit much to handle on your own for sure.
But the good news is, it CAN be handled. The anxiety as we know it can be calmed. Its just requires a little positive energy from our end to make it happen. Here are 6 positive ways you can calm the current coronavirus anxiety…
1} CONTROL INFORMATION: Our Fears usually stem from ‘not being in control’ of the situation. This whole pandemic is a classic example of us not having control on how it is manifesting in the world. Its this uncertainty that flares the anxiety into full on panic mode. Hence, first and foremost “control” the news and information you are taking in on a daily basis. Limit it to absolutely reliable channels like the C.D.C.(Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) or the W.H.O.(World health Organization) websites and maybe one trusted local news channel. And remember, whatsapp, forwards etc. are not factual news, they are fictional information made to instill fear. You can’t control what is going on around you, but you can certainly control what you are feeding your mind. The right information helps you understand the situation at hand and keeps you mentally prepared to handle it.
2} BREAK THE ANXIETY CYCLE: Panic is this situation can lead to impulsive behaviors that are dangerous to you and others. Anxiety is both mentally and physically weakening that has more long-term health consequences. You need to convince yourself that anxiety is not rewarding or productive. For example, you can replace the habit of worry, with creative thinking.
Our brain always chooses the more rewarding behaviour but only when it is convinced. Some examples:
- If you start to worry: “Oh no, I touched my face, maybe I’ll get sick!”. Instead of panicking, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself: “When was the last time I cleaned my hands?” … This will make your brain think and the response will be “Oh, right! I just washed my hands.” Within that moment the anxiety passes, because you have managed to convince your brain with facts.
Hence take a moment to pause and ask the question. Give your prefrontal cortex a chance to come back to a calm centre and do what it does best: Think Positively. This makes us successfully break the anxiety cycle.
3} FOCUS ON HOPE & POSITIVITY: Focus on all the positive things in your life right now. You have a home to keep you sheltered, you have food in the fridge, you have family and friends who care for you, you have good health. And everytime you feel pandemic anxiety coming on I recommend you find the voices with positive stories and positive images. Like of people around the world who have experienced the novel coronavirus and have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery and are willing to share their experience. Just today I recieved a wonderful text from a friend stating this bit of positivity….here it is for you too to enjoy and soak in too:
HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD NEWS!?
❤ China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.
❤ Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest same medicine, globally.
❤ Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.
❤ A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China.
❤ Apple reopens all 42 china stores.
❤ Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days.
❤ Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining.
❤ Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe.
❤ Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
❤ 3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life.
❤ A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.
❤ A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.
❤ Tulsa County’s first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.
❤ All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered.
❤ Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19.
So it’s not ALL bad news friends. Let’s care for each other and stay focused on safety of those most vulnerable while continuing to make the best of our days. This too shall pass! I challenge you to spread the good news! All the above can be checked on Google for reconfirmation if you like 🙂
4} MAINTAIN A SELF CARE RITUAL: In times of panic and anxiety, the most mundane things can offer calm. Hence focus on things you can control (like having a good self care routine) instead of those you cannot (like stopping the coronavirus). Eat healthy meals, catch up on sleep and do things that you enjoy. Create a self care routine that prioritizes your overall wellbeing and positive mental health. Healing activities, like going for a walk, meditation, prayer, exercise can all help you relax and will have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. Think about it this way, you finally have the time to read that book that you never had time for or watch that movie you never got around to watching.
5} VALIDATE YOUR FEELINGS: To be totally honest, even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety are experiencing more worry and anxiety now in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. So, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or upset, among many other emotional reactions, in the current uncertain situation. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. You could do this by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, talking to a professional or doing something creative.
6} SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER: As you are in your home quarantined you can still be supportive by calling friends and relatives by checking on them. You can be supportive by talking to your children and explaining the situation to them, so that they feel safe. You can offer support by helping your neighbors who might be elderly or have special needs. Because in helping others with their pain we forget ours.
Be conscientious and fill your quarantined free time with good things, productive things, joyful things…this is where the anxiety will calm down. When you can give your mind positive cues, it will follow through to calm your heart. Yes, its a pandemic of magnanimous proportions, but we cannot help or control the circumstances by feeding into the ‘fear’ based energy of it. We can however control how we handle this situation, so that the experience we are left with is a satisfying one. So that this experience makes us feel like we are part of the solution, not the problem.
Trust the doctors to do their job, trust the nurses and scienctist and the grocery store clerks and the uber drivers and the world to do their job. And you do your job, by staying calm at home…cause that is where you are safe.
”Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller
❤ Just a quick reminder, that I AM HERE TO SUPPORT you at all times. You can contact me anywhere from email to social media circles. Please remember you are not alone and we are all in this together. ❤
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