COVID-19 Blues: Focus on What You Can Control
I PANICKED the other day. Just like that, I cracked like an egg.
Yet, I couldn’t seem to stop. I was glued to my phone. To the news. To contradictory articles. To the voices of others.
It felt like mass panic. As a result, I spent half of the day anxious and distracted. And I HATED feeling that way.
Finally, I thought…. It’s life and therefore there are aspects we have no power over. We can’t control our age, the way it spreads, or if we have an underlying health condition. But that doesn’t mean we’re entirely victims. The key is to not panic. Focus on what can be done and take a deep breath about the rest!
What We CAN Control
Follow the CDC Recommendations
For starters, we should follow the CDC recommendations which have probably been beaten into you by now.
The website has clear Covid response advice such as wash your hands for twenty seconds, keep your distance from others, disinfect, cover your cough, and stay home if you’re sick – all common sense things!
Choose How You Respond
Next, can you find the silver lining? If you’re stuck at home, perhaps this is a great opportunity for family time. Or a chance to buy some new books, focus on your fitness, or start a garden. The incredible opportunities for this newfound free time are endless, you just need to see it that way. Furthermore, emotions are contagious. Can you uplift instead of fuel panic? This can be extremely difficult (due to our biological instincts), and I too struggle. But, strive to be the calm voice of reason when others need it. It’s NOT EASY to go against the herd in uncertain times, but it’s worth the effort.
“We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how we respond.”
Certainly, you control how well you take care of yourself and your family. And the severity of ANY virus depends greatly on our health. So, here are the things you can do to put yourself in a great chance of fast recovery if you do come in contact with sickness:
- Stress is a known suppressor to the immune system, and if you live pretty much anywhere, you’re receiving a massive amount of stress signals. The stock market, job uncertainty, the virus, and the news are sending constant messages of distress. Make sure your use of alcohol and/or nicotine is minimized or in cessation. It’s critical to handle this stress in any way you can. Try meditation, reading, and journaling. Also, set specific times when you’re away from your technology and the news (a key source of the stress).
- Sleep gives the immune system a chance to regroup and reset. It’s invaluable in keeping our immune response in fighting order. So, aim for 7-8 hours as often as possible.
- Sugar and processed foods can increase inflammation in your body. Yet, leafy greens and vegetables create a chemical signal that promotes a healthy immune system. Finally, fruits give us the vitamin C required to help with colds and viruses. Bottom line, we all know they’re good for us. So, now’s a fantastic time to up your intake of the healthy stuff.
- Physical exercise has been shown to increase the immune cells (T-cells) that attack viruses and bacteria. It also greatly improves your body’s sugar response and stress levels. Regular movement is a must for an immune system that reacts and recovers quickly.
- And finally, many of us are low in Vitamin D – an all-important vitamin for your immune system. Studies show that it plays a critical role in helping to fight infections . So, get outside as often as possible.
- Prepare to Stay Home. Finally, if buying toilet paper makes you feel better, then go for it. You’ll eventually use them, just leave some for others. The same goes for any other products that store well. It’s good to have emergency supplies for any kind of natural disaster occurrence.
Something to Consider About the Virus
Honestly, I’m not going to throw Coronavirus stats at you and tell you to freak out, or not. Most of the stats are skewed to fit the purpose of the article and have variables we don’t know about anyways. Like everyone else, I have no clue what the future holds. But I do know that panic doesn’t help us much. So, take it seriously, but also keep a clear head. Stock up on things you need and stay home. Control what you can, and let go of the rest.
Like everything, this too shall pass.
by Tannia V.