Protect Your Mental Health Too
With the concerns of COVID-19 increasing, it is good we are hearing of so many ways to protect our physical health; wash hands frequently, drink alot of water, avoid travel and public venues with large crowd traffic, and monitor all symptoms.
I do believe it is just as important to take very good care of your mental and emotional health too. Especially, in a time like this, where adjusting to needs and changes may not only be inconvenient and stressful, but also could contribute to intense fear, anxiety, and even panic.
I'm gonna write fast and bullet-pointy, so I can get this out as quickly as possible. Today, I heard of more school and event closures, shortages of what now feel like essentials not luxury items, and a host of other things that I'm going to choose not to list, because that alone, could be anxiety-inducing. So here is where I'll begin:
Focus on the change and need immediately in front of you (not weeks or months from now). Everything is happening fast and no one really has all of the answers. If your kid is being sent home from college, just pull out clean sheets and an extra serving of dinner. You will all figure out the rest as you need, and as it unfolds.
Flexibility will serve you. You may have just adjusted to the thing in front of you, then it changed...again. See #1. We're going for surviving at the moment. We will return to thriving when stability is restored.
Filter, monitor, or pace your information. Yes, we need to be informed. And you will stay on top of the news that affects you. But too much news, entertaining various wonderings, possibilities, pontifications, or conspiracy theories is not helpful for the soul to achieve some serenity. A constant influx of horror stories (whether from over seas or your cousin at the Walmart), keeps you in the horror.
Change all what ifs to what IS. Just that. Try it. Keeps you focused on actual things, not imaginings.
Write it out, if you need to. Then edit to what is IN YOUR CONTROL. Write out everything that is causing you anxiety. Black out all of the things that are actually out of your control. Put your energy to the things that ARE in your control. It will help you feel more in a power seat.
Be patient with yourself and others. Remember, this is new for everyone. We're all gonna feel differently and thus want to handle it differently. Again, no one really has all the answers.
Be glad when it doesn't get bad. As a frequent hurricane evacuator, it's easy to get jaded and complacent when you go through all the trouble to adjust to a threat that doesn't materialize. Remember, you're not "crying wolf". You're taking care of business. And when the threat has passed, you will be in prime position to return to whatever was normal pre-threat.
In the meantime, stay connected to your people, talk about other things, find humor somewhere. I mean, unless you have something better to do.
Take good care of yourselves, people. Peace and love, peace and love to you.