Millions of people are working from home and schools are closing across the globe. Many businesses are shutting their doors and grocery store shelves are empty. Needless to say, these are uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a lot of stress for us all. If you are feeling anxious, you are in good company. A global infectious disease that can impact every realm of your life is a legitimate source of stress. Here are five tips to cope with stress and anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Remember that we’re all in this together.
During a pandemic, you might feel unsafe, have trouble sleeping and experience distressing emotions. Social isolation can worsen these feelings. You may also experience a sense of imbalance in your life and uncertainty in the future. If you are feeling these emotions, know that you are not alone. This crisis appears to be having a widespread impact on nearly everyone. Take comfort in knowing that we are all in this together and will get through it together.
2. Get the facts from a reliable source
There’s a fine line between staying informed and feeling overwhelmed by the media. Many times in natural disasters, as people’s media exposure increases, so does their distress. While you shouldn’t avoid the news entirely, it’s important to limit your exposure. In addition, be extremely careful and avoid the vagueness and sensationalism of social media. Rely on trusted forms of communication, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, and give yourself a break from the news and social media from time to time.
3. Be a good neighbor and help one another
When everything in your life seems to be out of control, it’s important to focus your mind and efforts on the things that are within your control. There are somethings you can do, such as cleaning your hands, social distancing and keeping loved ones safe. Looking out for your neighbors, family, friends and coworkers can also provide some relief. Supporting others can give us a sense of purpose, and right now we need to support each other more than ever before. Social distancing, although recommended, can be incredibly isolating. Do what you can to stay connected, with the ones you love. This is one area where social media might actually be very helpful, as long as you stay away from the sensationalism.
4. Practice prayer and meditation
Prayer and meditation has been proven to help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Prayer and meditation are highly effective in lowering our reactivity to traumatic and negative events. They are powerful because they focus our thoughts on something outside ourselves. Regardless of what you believe, focusing your thoughts on others and releasing positive wishes towards us all is great way to stay calm during this crisis
5. Start planning for a post-pandemic 2020
Let me reassure you that this pandemic as every other world crisis in history has an end date. We do not know that date yet, but just as it had a start date, it will also have an end date. Start thinking about the near future; once this is all over, what will be different for you. How can you use this experience to improve your life, your family, your business or even the world? In every problem is a hidden opportunity. What opportunity lies in this moment that can help propel you forward once this is all over? Think upon such things!
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the world and especially you, my Millennium Eye Center patient family. This crisis has really reaffirmed my resolve to continue to Mentor, Empower and Care with excellence, because truly; we are all in this together!
Now it’s your turn. What positive message do you want to share with the world during this crisis? Please share a comment!