Everyone is dealing with Coronavirus. We are all affected, in many different ways, big and small. Anxiety spikes, sleep disturbance, irritability, sadness and grief over lost experiences. Frustration with kids being home, having to be home yourself, not getting to be home. The list goes on an one. Here are five tips to help you manage the effects of this worldwide trauma. Implement these suggestions, seek professional help if needed. Talk to your loved ones. Overall, though, pay attention to your Self.
- Gently attend to social media.
Limit the time spent scrolling. This is solid advice in the best of times, and of particular importance when there are limits on other activities. There is a fair amount of risk in going down the comparison rabbit hole. Curate your feeds to show things that are inspiring and interesting, beautiful and funny. Manage what you look at with the same care you would use choosing music or food for your child.
- This might be an opportunity. It’s also a global crisis.
While you’re attending to your social media consumption, also remember that this is not the golden opportunity to learn new skills you’ve been waiting for. Nor is it the perfect time to tackle all your home projects. You will see all sorts of people doing all sorts of things with this time. Consider carefully what is best for *you*. Perhaps getting some things checked off the to-do list is totally fine, and manageable. Perhaps, though, getting your teeth brushed and moving your body for ten minutes is enough. We are living through an unprecedented stressful event with no clear guidelines for how best to do that. Go easy.
- Understand the atmospheric stress.
You’re an introvert; you already work from home; you don’t have kids, so you’re not stuck home with them; you always wanted to homeschool and now you can. There are lots of ways that this might “not be that bad.” I have found myself thinking the very same thing, and counting blessings is key. However, we are all subject to the stress in the world that is permeating everything, even if our individual circumstances are not THE worst. Keep track of that, know that your world shifted as well, and the effects are felt in your system even when you are not necessarily aware of them.
- Pay attention to your body.
Stress manifests in all kinds of ways. Do the things to take extra care of your physical Self. Stay hydrated, move, eat real food, sleep enough. You may not be experiencing stressful thoughts or other typical symptoms of being stressed out. This does not mean that your system isn’t suffering or in need of extra TLC.
- Rest, be slow.
Because we have limited access to everything, there is possibly more space to slow down. Slow your mind and body. Listen to what is happening in your life, in your friends and family. Get the extra sleep that you maybe don’t make time for when things are “normal.” Meditate. Practice mindfulness. Be in nature.
Some aspects of this will pass. We will wake up in 2021 and remember how crazy things were last year. Other things will stay. Lots of things will not return to whatever normal was. Plenty of change, for better or worse. Be kind to yourself and the people around you. Take it easy.