In these challenging times it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the bad news and fears of becoming infected. I have put together some of my tips to keep you mentally and physically well and boost your resilience, especially now.
Limit your (social) media exposure
Avoid continuously watching, listening to or reading the news as much as you can. This will only contribute to your feelings of anxiousness or distress. If you seek information, concentrate on practical steps to prepare and protect yourself and your loved ones. Choose information updates once or twice, at specific points during the day. Only use WHO and local authority websites.
Pay attention to your own needs and feelings
This is particularly important during times of stress. Engage in healthy activities you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly (there are plenty of high-intensity training videos, yoga videos, etc. online). Keep a regular sleep routine and eat healthy food.
Keep things in perspective. Public health agencies and experts in all countries are working on the outbreak to ensure the availability of the best care to those affected.
Create special “worry window” of 5 minutes. Write down what is worrying you in a “stream of consciousness” perhaps. Then, as best you can, let it go in a way that feels right to you.
Connect with people
Keep communicating with people at home and online. This will help to boost your resilience. Check in regularly with people you know who are living alone. If you are healthy, volunteer to do shopping or dog walking for local people who cannot go out. Keep the recommended 2m (or 6ft) distance. Join some like-minded positive online groups. Again, do not be continuously “scrolling”.
This is very important. Find “laughter yoga” online. Watch funny movies or YouTube videos. Read funny books. Tell each other jokes or share silly clips.
Do more of what “sparks joy” or creates mastery
If you have extra time on your hands learn a foreign language or get out the knitting you have in your cupboard. You could learn to draw, tidy the house (drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard, room by room), we’ve got the time now.
Play uplifting or calming music.
This situation is no one’s fault. Use kind language and actions always – we are in this together.
We can’t change what’s happening we can only change our response. Find my free 3 Minute Breathing Space here.
*Disclaimer: As with most practices, mindfulness may not be suitable for everyone. If you have any existing mental health conditions or past trauma, you should discuss these with your GP or mental health professional, and these should also be disclosed prior to enrolling in a class.