Coronavirus, Social Distancing and Self Quarantine – 3 things you can do today to relieve stress and fear.
We are home, all of us!
For some, the idea of being home makes us think of being curled up with our favorite streaming service, a cup of tea, and being surrounded by our loving family. Why would anyone be stressed about that? Sadly, it’s because so many people do not have a loving family, they cannot afford the cup of tea, and are so stressed about the loss of income that they cannot focus on reading anything.
At one time of my life, that is exactly how I felt. I was a single Mom receiving no child support, and I had no close-by relatives to provide any help. I was responsible for everything.
How do you get through it? How do you stop the cycle of fear and worry? Here are three things you can do today to find some peace in the midst of chaos:
We have all seen the posts, memes, and articles on the importance of gratitude. It is difficult to image being thankful when all you feel is fear and pressure. Even during the tough times, being grateful can shift your heart, mind, and soul.
In stressful times you may have to start small. Like really small. There are so many things you might not even think you should be grateful for, such as the cup in your hand, your toothbrush, the bed you slept in, the blanket that covers you, or even the cloths on your back and the shoes on your feet. Let’s not forget that last roll of toilet paper you’re hanging onto (suddenly one of your most valued possessions).
Next, I challenge you to dump the jealousy! This is tough, especially when you see people that have everything: money in the bank, nice cars, a loving spouse, and good health. It makes you want to scream, “Why not me?”
This is a perfectly human reaction. Being grateful for what you have, including the people that love you, will help you conquer the green-eyed monster.
Here’s an idea to help – make a list. Start with three things that you are grateful for. I am sure the list is longer but start with three.
Anxiety is a word that we hear so much in today’s world. What is anxiety? In a nutshell, it is a worry. Like a stuck record, we run situations over and over in our head, bouncing the ‘what if’s’ between our mind and heart. Being worried about what is happening and what could happen is another perfectly normal behavior. When the anxiety takes over our thoughts it can be less than helpful. It can even become crippling, preventing us from getting anything done in our lives. So, to combat this brain and heart takeover, it is helpful to plan.
When I was kid in California, we had emergency earthquake drills in school and even at home. I became an expert at ducking and covering. The idea of an earthquake as an 8-year-old was frightening, as I envisioned the walls falling in around me. But, having a plan and knowing what to do helped me feel as if I had some control.
Later, when I grew up and joined the Navy, I was part of a military mash hospital. We practiced and drilled to know what to do in case of a natural disaster or a national emergency. Instead of worrying about what would happen, I felt prepared and relieved that a plan was in place to handle an emergency.
Being a kid or an adult, a plan can relieve anxiety and worry. If you are feeling the fear and worry, then establish a plan. Write it down, talk to your family, and brainstorm the best way to get through this uncertain time.
3. Reach out
Reaching out sounds simple, but it can be hard when everyone is going through stressful times as well. Add to that, it can be easier said than done to admit when you need help.
This is the perfect time to reach out to friends, family, and people in the community. Call your friends, co-workers, and family. Share your concerns and let them share theirs. Help each other where you can.
Also, connect to social services to help get basic needs taken care of. This may include food banks and health clinics, as well as applying to federal and state relief programs. I have added some links below.
Nothing helps relieve our own anxiety than helping others. Reach out to those that need you. Help a senior and go shopping for them, make an extra meal for a neighbor, call a family member that could use some connection. And don’t forget your kids. Play a board game with them, cook together, or watch a fun movie. They need reassurance as much or more than us. Most importantly, set aside your own time for play. Play is good for everyone’s heart and soul.
Be grateful, plan, and reach out – you will be so proud of yourself because you have made it through the rough patch and are stronger than ever for it.
Speaker, Author and Forgiveness Expert